US relaxes covid-19 travel restrictions

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Citizens from over 100 countries, including Japan, the host of the 2020 Olympics can now travel to the United States following the lifting of restrictions by President Joe Biden’s government.

The Biden’s administration is also forming expert working groups with Canada, Mexico, the EU and the UK to determine how best to restart travel safely after 15 months of pandemic restrictions.

Also, the new ratings of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) included 61 nations lowered from its highest Level 4 that discouraged all travel to recommending travel for fully vaccinated individuals.

France, Ecuador, the Philippines, South Africa, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Honduras, Hungary and Italy are among those now listed at Level 3.

In addition, 50 countries and territories have been lowered to Level 2 or Level 1.

Countries ranked lowest for COVID-19 risks now include Singapore, Israel, South Korea, Iceland, Belize and Albania.

The US State Department said it had updated its recommendations to reflect a recent methodology update.

The agency said the new criteria for a Level 4 “avoid all travel” recommendation has changed to 500 cases per 100,000 from 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000.

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