CDC ends country-by-country COVID travel advisories

The announcement came as data reporting about the pandemic has been scaled back around the world.

A nurse explains a COVID-19 test at a testing station in Johannesburg, South Africa, May 5, 2022. Joao Silva / The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will no longer maintain a list of COVID-19 travel advisories for foreign countries, the agency said Monday, another sign of the gradual shift toward pre-pandemic normalcy even as about 1,400 people around the world are dying each day from the virus.

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The agency said it would instead issue travel health notices only for “a concerning COVID-19 variant” or other situation that would change travel recommendations for a particular country, as it does with other diseases like monkeypox, polio and yellow fever.

The announcement came as data reporting about the pandemic has been scaled back around the world. The CDC said it was ending the list of advisories because “fewer countries are testing or reporting COVID-19 cases,” limiting the agency’s ability to assess the risk level for travelers accurately.


In April, the CDC dropped a “do not travel” warning that it had in place for about 90 countries and other destinations because of the COVID risk there, saying it would reserve that label for “special circumstances.”

The same month, a federal judge struck down the CDC’s mask mandate for travel on planes, trains and buses. In June, the agency ended its requirement for travelers flying to the United States to provide a negative coronavirus test result before boarding.

In August, the CDC loosened its domestic COVID guidelines, noting that while the virus was “here to stay,” the United States now had the tools to reduce severe illness and death. And in an interview last month, President Biden declared that “the pandemic is over.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.


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