By Marnie Hunter and Forrest Brown, CNN
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will no longer maintain a country-by-country list of travel advisories related to Covid-19, the agency said Monday.
“As fewer countries are testing or reporting Covid-19 cases, CDC’s ability to accurately assess the Covid-19 THN [Travel Health Notice] levels for most destinations that American travelers visit is limited,” an agency spokesperson said in a statement to CNN Travel.
Starting October 3, a notice will only be posted for a country if there is a concerning Covid-19 variant or other situation that would change the CDC’s travel recommendations.
The agency said that regardless of their destination, international travelers should stay up-to-date on their Covid-19 vaccines and follow CDC guidance for international travel.
Being “up-to-date” means having all doses from the primary vaccination series as well as any boosters for which you are eligible.
The CDC issued its first Covid-specific travel notice for China in January of 2020. The agency has long been updating its advisories list each Monday.
‘People need to make their own decisions’
CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen told CNN Travel before the CDC’s latest move that we’re in “a phase in the pandemic where people need to make their own decisions based on their medical circumstances as well as their risk tolerance when it comes to contracting Covid-19.”
Vaccination is the most significant safety factor for travel, said Wen, who is an emergency physician and professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.
“Most people who are up-to-date on their vaccines are highly protected from becoming severely ill,” she said.
While US-bound travelers who are US citizens or legal permanent residents no longer have to present a negative Covid-19 test to get home from international destinations, the CDC still advises testing before boarding flights back to the States and not traveling if you are sick.
“Of course, if people have symptoms or exposure while traveling, they need to get tested, and if they test positive, to follow CDC’s isolation guidelines,” Wen said
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Top image: Tourists and locals in Athens, Greece, on June 1, 2022. (Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP via Getty Images)