US revokes advisory clamping down on international travel

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The United States has lifted an advisory from March that said US citizens should avoid all international travel due to the coronavirus pandemic. But American travellers are still restricted or banned in many parts of the world, including in the European Union.

The State Department on Thursday said it would instead resume travel services considering each country on a case-by-case basis.

The announcement comes as President Donald Trump seeks a quick return to normal in the United States, which has suffered by far the highest number of deaths from COVID-19.

“With health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the Department is returning to our previous system,” the State Department said in a statement. “We continue to recommend US citizens exercise caution when travelling abroad due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic.”

Under the new ratings, the United States is still advising precautions for most countries. Among the few recipients of the “Level 1” ranking — which means no special concerns for travel — were Taiwan, which has won wide acclaim for its handling of the pandemic, and Australia.

The United States gave a Level 3 status — which means to reconsider travel — to many allies including Britain, France and Germany. It kept the Level 4 warning to avoid all travel for India, which has seen growing cases of COVID-19.