In the last few months, we’ve seen the Covid-19 pandemic throw the global economy and the travel industry into a spin. Previously, we used to all think of travel restrictions from the point of view of whether you can travel visa free into any country with your passport. Now, that definition has surely changed. Even before you plan travel, you now have to consider a litany of factors. Is the destination open to travel? Do I need to quarantine? Is testing required? Amid all this, the US State Department has lifted its ‘do not travel’ advisory for many countries.
US State Department Travel Advisory
On its website, the US State Department follows a color coded mechanism to list a travel advisory for a particular country. These are listed as level 1, 2, 3 and 4.
1: Exercise Normal Precautions
2: Exercise Increased Caution
3: Reconsider Travel
4: Do not travel
After the Covid-19 pandemic spread globally, the US State Department placed many countries into the Level 4 ‘do not travel’ category. Now, they’re lifting it and once again assessing countries on a case by case basis.
With health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the department is returning to our previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice – US State Department
Bloomberg reports how US airline stocks jumped after the State Department announced that they’re lifting the travel ban. This signals a push by the administration to reopen businesses and resume normal activity as soon as possible.
The Pundit’s Mantra
Given the current public health and economic scenario, the advisory does little to quell any fears. For example, many countries in Asia, Africa and Europe still remain on Level 3. While New Zealand is now on Level 2, China continues to be on Level 4.
However, the other question is whether any of these countries are willing to welcome US travelers to their countries with few or no restrictions?
I’ve written in previous posts about how I plan to sit out most of 2020 and wait until things normalize. I value the experience of travel as much as the mere act of travel itself. However, your plans could be different. Does this updated advisory change your travel plans? Does it go far enough to convince you to book international travel right away? Tell us in the comments section.
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