US issues 'Do Not Travel' COVID-19 warning
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State Department on Monday (Nov 22) advised against travelling to Germany and Denmark because of a rising number of COVID-19 cases in both countries.
The CDC elevated its travel recommendation to "Level Four: Very High" for the two European countries, telling Americans they should avoid travel there, while the State Department issued parallel "Do Not Travel" advisories for both countries.
The CDC currently lists about 75 destinations worldwide at Level Four, with many European countries on the list including Austria, Britain, Belgium, Greece, Norway, Switzerland, Romania, Ireland and the Czech Republic. Level Four countries in Asia include Singapore and Malaysia.
Case numbers in Germany have been increasing, especially among the elderly whose first two shots of COVID-19 vaccine were at the start of the year, and among children who are not eligible for vaccination.
Earlier this month, the World Health Organization (WHO) said European countries must work harder to prevent the coronavirus spreading further as deaths and new cases surge.
Current transmission rates in 53 European countries are of "grave concern" and new cases are nearing record levels, exacerbated by the more transmissible Delta variant of the virus, the WHO's Hans Kluge warned. "We must change our tactics, from reacting to surges of COVID-19, to preventing them from happening in the first place," he said.
Germany has already decided to limit large parts of public life in areas where hospitals are filling with COVID-19 patients. Neighbouring Austria on Monday imposed a full COVID-19 lockdown after announcing some renewed restrictions last week. German acting Health Minister Jens Spahn warned on Friday that Germany may follow.
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