“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose unprecedented risks to travelers,” the State Department said in a statement on Monday. “In light of those risks, the Department of State strongly recommends U.S. citizens reconsider all travel abroad.”
The State Department said the shift would result in a “significant increase” in the number of countries designed Level 4: Do Not Travel. Many countries are currently listed as Level 2 or Level 3, with travelers urged to “exercise increased caution” or “reconsider travel,” respectively.
The Associated Press notes that guidance will be released for each country individually over the coming week. It wasn’t immediately clear which countries would be given the highest travel advisory designation.
The warnings come amid signs of good news in the United States. The CDC says more than 132 million Americans have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. That’s more than half of all adults in the country.
The CDC has warned travelers that even if they are fully vaccinated, there is still a risk that Americans could contract COVID-19, particularly with the rise of troubling new variants.