Covid-19: US Citizens Advised Against Travel to 80% of Countries
The US state department is to advise Americans to avoid 80% of countries worldwide because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a note to the media about its updated travel guidance, it said the pandemic continued to "pose unprecedented risks to travellers".
Covid-19 has now claimed more than three million lives worldwide - more than half a million of them in the US.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned the world was "approaching the highest rate of infection" so far, despite the global rollout of vaccination programmes.
India - currently in the grip of a second wave - is to begin offering vaccinations to all adults over 18 in a bid to control the surge in infections.
Brazil has recorded the third-highest number of cases and, at 368,749, the second-highest number of deaths in the world.
While more than 860 million doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered in 165 countries worldwide, many countries are still struggling to contain the virus.
The US state department said its decision to update its travel advisories was to bring it more in line with those from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and "does not imply a reassessment of the current health situation in a given country".
However, it said the move would "result in a significant increase in the number of countries at Level 4: Do Not Travel, to approximately 80% of countries worldwide".
Only three places at the world are assessed at the lowest of the state department's four risk levels - "Exercise normal precautions". They are Macau, Taiwan and New Zealand.
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