The U.S. State Department is no longer advising Americans to avoid international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, lifting its previous Level 4 (do not travel) advisory on Thursday.
The return to the State Department’s original system comes four and a half months after the Level 4 travel advisory was issued on March 19 amid sweeping shutdowns to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
By doing away with the blanket advisory, the State Department aims to provide travelers with more details regarding individual destinations so that they can make more informed decisions prior to traveling abroad.
“With health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the Department is returning to our previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice…in order to give travelers detailed and actionable information to make informed travel decisions,” the department said, according to a USA Today report.
“This will also provide U.S. citizens more detailed information about the current status in each country…We continue to recommend U.S. citizens exercise caution when traveling abroad due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic.”
The State Department’s lifting of the Level 4 travel advisory is significant in that the highest advisory had recommended citizens avoid all travel abroad and advised all Americans overseas to return home or prepare to remain in place for the foreseeable future.