US State Department rescinds blanket ‘do not travel’ warning

US travelers are urged to view State Department’s country-by-country warnings.

The US State Department has lifted its broad “do not travel” warning for US citizens that had been in place since March, instead moving to a country-by-country warning system.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect countries differently,” the State Department said in a statement issued Aug. 6. “Challenges to any international travel at this time may include mandatory quarantines, travel restrictions, and closed borders. Foreign governments may implement restrictions with little notice, even in destinations that were previously low risk. If you choose to travel internationally, your trip may be severely disrupted, and it may be difficult to arrange travel back to the United States.”

The move means most countries are now listed as “reconsider travel” on the State Department’s website. China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran and Iraq are among the countries that remain under a “do not travel” warning. Macau and Taiwan are the only destinations given a level one “exercise normal precautions” label. A number of countries, including New Zealand, are labeled “exercise increased caution.”

The change, which may loosen some hurdles for traveling abroad for people based in the US, may not make a difference for many US travelers, who remain banned from traveling to the Europe Union, for example. The borders between the US and its North American neighbors, Canada and Mexico, remain closed to “nonessential” travelers.  

Photo credit: Joe Pries