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U.S. CDC ends country-specific COVID travel health notices

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Monday it had ended its COVID-19 country travel health notices as fewer countries reported enough data for accurate assessments.

In April, CDC dropped its "Do Not Travel" COVID-19 recommendations for about 90 international destinations, saying it would its reserve Level 4 travel health notices "for special circumstances." Level 4 calls for all Americans avoiding travel because of COVID-19, even those who are fully vaccinated.

CDC said on Monday "as fewer countries are testing or reporting COVID-19 cases, CDC’s ability to accurately assess the COVID-19 (travel health notice) levels for most destinations that American travelers visit is limited."

Since April, the notices have drawn little attention since the CDC was not issuing blanket recommendations against travel for specific countries.

As recently as March, the CDC recommended against travel to about 120 countries and territories worldwide, or more than half of all destinations.

The notices had deterred some Americans from travel and on occasion sparked consternation in some countries. A recommendation not to travel to Japan in May 2021, months before the Olympics drew wide attention.

CDC said on Monday it will only post a travel health notice "for a country if a situation, such as a concerning COVID-19 variant, is identified that changes CDC travel recommendations for that country."

(Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Franklin Paul and Marguerita Choy)