Americans Advised ‘Do Not Travel’ To 130 More Nations By State Department
Warning of an "unprecedented risk to travelers" due to covid infections, the federal government expanded its travel guidance to now cover about 80% of the world.
U.S. Will Boost ‘Do Not Travel’ Advisories To 80% Of World
The U.S. State Department said on Monday it will boost its “Do Not Travel” guidance to about 80% of countries worldwide, citing “unprecedented risk to travelers” from the COVID-19 pandemic. The State Department already listed 34 out of about 200 countries as "Level 4: Do Not Travel," including places like Chad, Kosovo, Kenya, Brazil, Argentina, Haiti, Mozambique, Russia and Tanzania. (Shepardson, 4/19)
US Warns Against Travel To 80% Of World Due To Coronavirus
The advice issued by the department isn’t a formal global advisory. Instead, it says the State Department will start using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards as it prepares health and safety guidelines for individual countries. Because of those standards, about 80% of countries will be classified as “Level 4” or “do not travel.” Travel is also discouraged for the remaining 20%, though not as emphatically. It says people with plans to visit those countries should reconsider before proceeding. (4/19)
In other news related to travel or being outside —
The Boston Globe:
Could Outdoor Mask Mandates Get Dropped In The Coming Weeks? One Expert Thinks So
Dr. Ashish K. Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, says that states may soon drop their outdoor mask-wearing mandates — and it makes sense. “Outdoor infections are rare and occur when large groups gather in packed spaces, such as rallies,” Jha said in a tweet on Sunday. “Outdoor mask mandates are likely to be lifted in upcoming weeks. Indoor masking should stay for a bit longer,” he said. In an interview on CNN’s Inside Politics earlier Sunday, Jha said, “I think it’s pretty safe to be out and about walking around without a mask, especially in large parts of the country where infection numbers are under reasonable control.” (Finucane, 4/19)
Are Outdoor Mask Mandates Still Necessary?
Perhaps a bit of weirdness should be expected. Rising vaccinations and burbling variants make for an awkward transition period in which it’s legitimately confusing to know when masking is a necessary and considerate act, and when it’s no more epidemiologically protective than, say, wearing a hat. Government rules aren’t doing much to help clarify the situation. In places such as D.C., outdoor masking is mostly mandatory and limited indoor dining is permitted, leading to masks in the streets and bare faces in the bar seats. Several dozen states have similar mask mandates for public spaces while also allowing various levels of indoor dining. (Thompson, 4/19)
Is It Safe To Go To Concerts In A Pandemic? A Guide
As more people get Covid-19 vaccines, you may be wondering whether hearing live music in person again is safe. Coronavirus can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes and others breathe in those droplets, and by accumulating in or flowing through air. You can get coronavirus from contaminated surfaces, too, but this isn't the primary mode of transmission, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Rogers, 4/19)