International Travel Is Risky This Summer, According to the State Department

Published: 04-26-2021
COVID surging in India. Let's take a look at international travel this summer.


Summer is usually a booming time for the aviation industry. A surge of vacation-ready travelers would be a great boost to the US economy at a time when we sorely need it. Unfortunately for the travelers looking to spend their time overseas, they will have to wait a bit longer.

The US State Department has plans to extend its “Do Not Travel” order to 80% of the world’s countries, limiting much of the international opportunities for travel.

How Much Is 80% of the Countries?

Despite progress in America with vaccinations, there are still surges of COVID-19 occurring in other countries. The State Department cites an “unprecedented” risk of international travel during this time.

Currently, the State Department has 34 countries out of about 200 on the Do Not Travel list. Bumping the total figure to 80% would mean that there would be about 165 countries prevented from travel.

Response from Airlines

Obviously, such a robust Do Not Travel list can financially hurt many airlines that were planning on reopening flights to international destinations.

Airlines for America, a trade group that represents major airlines, urged “ the federal government to transparently establish the criteria – including clear metrics, benchmarks, and a timeline – for reopening international markets."

What About the Vaccinated?

The CDC has commented that vaccinated individuals can travel within the United States at “low risk.” Unfortunately, there is no word on whether or not vaccinated individuals could be exempt from Do Not Travel orders related to COVID-19.

If the research shows that vaccinated individuals do not carry the virus and cannot transmit it to others, then those vaccinated individuals should be safe to travel.

This mixed approach to a travel list, however, raises the controversial issue of “vaccine passports” that has been floated by the White House. Countries like Israel and China are already using some sort of proof of vaccination to allow travel to areas such as New York.

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