Country-specific advice for US tourists

The US State Department has lifted the global travel ban put in place more than four months ago in response to the coronavirus pandemic and replaced it with country specific advice. 21 countries remain on the Do Not Travel Advisory list. While legally not binding, the effect of the bans and advisories has led to a significant reduction in US outbound medical tourism for 2020.

The US State Department is returning to the previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice to give outbound US travellers detailed and actionable information to make informed travel decisions.

The Level 4 global health advisory, the highest alert level, was issued on 19 March.

The new travel information cautions that the pandemic continues to affect countries differently, and challenges to any international travel may include mandatory quarantines, travel restrictions, and closed borders.

It states “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.”

There are 21 countries with Level 4: Do Not Travel Advisories including:

  • Argentina
  • Bahamas
  • Belize
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • India
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia

There are dozens more under the Level 3: Reconsider Travel warning.

There are only seven countries under Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution, including Fiji, French Polynesia, New Zealand, and Thailand.

Travellers going to Europe are advised to check the relevant U.S. embassies or consulates for information, as the European Union has extended its travel ban on Americans.

US travellers are urged to enrol in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) program to receive alerts in case of an emergency.

Although the US may say a country can be travelled to, the destination country may have a ban on travel from the USA, which now has over 160,000 pandemic deaths.