US CDC advises Americans to avoid travel to Canada, cites pandemic | Inquirer News
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US CDC advises Americans to avoid travel to Canada, cites pandemic

/ 06:30 AM January 11, 2022
Border restrictions loosened to allow fully vaccinated U.S. residents into Canada

FILE PHOTO: Travelers line up to enter Canada at the Peace Arch border crossing in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada August 9, 2021. REUTERS/Jennifer Gauthier

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday advised against travel to neighboring Canada because of a rising number of COVID-19 cases as the Omicron variant spreads.

The CDC elevated its travel recommendation to “Level Four: Very High” for Canada, telling Americans they should avoid travel. The CDC, which lists about 80 destinations worldwide at Level Four, also raised the island of Curacao to Level Four.

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In November, the United States lifted restrictions at its land borders with Canada and Mexico for fully vaccinated foreign nationals, ending historic curbs on non-essential travelers put in place in March 2020 to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canada remains a top foreign destination for Americans.

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“We are aware of the latest CDC advice,” said a spokeswoman for Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly, noting that last month Ottawa had urged residents against non-essential travel.

Canada first issued the advisory in March 2020 but withdrew it last October – before the first Omicron cases were reported – citing the success of vaccination campaigns.

This month, Canada broke its one-day record for the highest number of people hospitalized with COVID-19. Last Friday officials said new daily cases had soared by 65% in the previous week, threatening healthcare systems.

The CDC on Monday also lowered travel recommendations from Level Four to “Level 3: High” to Armenia, Belarus, Lesotho and Zimbabwe. It also rate Singapore as “Level 3,” after it previously was listed as unknown.

The CDC says Americans should be fully vaccinated before traveling to Level 3 destinations.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in the United States reached a record high of 132,646, according to a Reuters tally on Monday, as the highly contagious Omicron variant pushed cases past the record 132,051 set in January last year.

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TAGS: Canada, coronavirus curbs, coronavirus pandemic, United States, US travel advisory
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