The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has eased travel recommendations for more than 110 countries and territories, including Ukraine.
That's according to Reuters.
The CDC's new ratings, first reported by Reuters and posted on the CDC's website on Monday, include 61 nations that were lowered from its highest "Level 4" rating that discouraged all travel to recommending travel for fully vaccinated individuals, the agency confirmed on Tuesday.
An additional 50 countries and territories have been lowered to "Level 2" or "Level 1," a CDC spokeswoman said. Countries ranked lowest for COVID-19 risks now include Singapore, Israel, South Korea, Iceland, Belize, and Albania.
Read alsoUkraine's government approves visa-free travel agreement with PeruAmong those now listed at "Level 3," are France, Ecuador, the Philippines, South Africa, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Honduras, Hungary, and Italy.
The U.S. State Department said it had updated its recommendations to reflect the recent methodology update, but noted not all ratings were revised because of other factors including "commercial flight availability, restrictions on U.S. citizen entry, and impediments to obtaining COVID test results within three calendar days."
The CDC said it also revised its rating for the United States to "Level 3" from "Level 4." The agency said the new criteria for a Level 4 "avoid all travel" recommendation has changed to 500 cases per 100,000 from 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000.
The agency added that many countries have lower ratings "because of the criteria changes or because their outbreaks are better controlled."
It was reported on Tuesday the Biden administration is forming expert working groups with Canada, Mexico, the European Union, and the UK to determine how best to restart travel safely after 15 months of pandemic restrictions.
Since late 2019, travel restrictions have been in force worldwide over COVID-19. Governments have set their own criteria for controlling the entry of tourists.
Travelers are mostly required to submit a negative result for the coronavirus or self-quarantine upon arrival.
The EU is discussing the possibility of introducing COVID-19 passports – e-certificates that will confirm full vaccination against the virus. But the West is in no hurry to make this decision, including because of the slow vaccination pace in certain countries. In turn, the World Health Organization calls this type of restriction discriminatory.