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US CDC warning says if unvaccinated then do not travel

September 4, 2021 USA News No Comments
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The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the US told Americans to “reconsider travel” to Canada mainly for the benefit of those not yet vaccinated against COVID-19, with only about 61% of eligible Americans fully vaccinated, compared with nearly 75% of Canadians age 12 and over.

Accordign to Canada’s Travel Industry Today, Dr. Rochelle Walensky says State Department travel advisories are typically based on regular assessments of a destination’s testing capacity, as well as the growth rate of new cases, but she said that people who are fully vaccinated and willing to wear face masks are OK to travel, provided they take into account the potential risks in the host country.

This weeks new Level 3 travel advisory marked a quick end to a three-week period when the State Department’s warning to would-be travellers to Canada was at Level 2, or “exercise increased caution and that move to Level 2 coincided with Canada’s decision earlier in August to allow fully vaccinated US citizens and permanent residents back into the country.

The US, meanwhile, is maintaining its existing restrictions on non-essential Canadian travellers until at least Sept. 21, citing the ongoing spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 with Walesnky telling  a COVID-19  taks force briefing this week, “We receive travel health notices and check and typically watch those daily; those look at testing capacity as well as case rates and we update our travel guidance by country in real-time”,

Hse added, “People who are fully vaccinated and who are wearing masks can travel, although given where we are with disease transmission right now, we would say that people need to take these risks into their own consideration”, adding, “People who are unvaccinated should avoid travel altogether”.

The latest seven-day average for confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations was up 5.7% over the previous weeklong period, the CDC says, with the vast majority of new cases being among the unvaccinated with the agency saying, “Nationally, new admissions of patients with confirmed COVID-19 are currently at their highest levels since the start of the pandemic for all age groups under 50 years old”.

The White House says some six million Americans got a shot last week, the largest weekly total since early July, with some 14 million people getting a first dose in August. The average number of shots each day is now 80% higher than it was last month.

Asked about the travel advisory thsi week, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau repeated his message that the single best defence against the virus is vaccination, which is why Canada has reopened its border to Americans who have had a full course of an approved vaccine, adding “We will continue to make our decisions around how to keep Canadians safe, and other countries will make the recommendations they need to keep their citizens safe,” and “I know that the way through this is to continue to lean heavily and hard on vaccinations.”

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) says it was caught off guard and disappointed when the US increased its travel advisory for Canada and maintains the decision will further hurt the country’s battered tourism businesses, especially ahead of the first long weekend with Americans being able to travel through the land border.

However, Flight Centre says it believes the advisory will not have a substantial impact on Americans travelling to Canada, since there are no additional restrictions in place, with spokeswoman Allison Wallace saying there is enough pent-up demand that Americans with travel plans will go ahead with their trips.

Vaccinated Americans have been allowed to cross into Canada via the land border without quarantining as of Aug. 9, although Canadians are still not able to cross the land border into the US.

A report from Canada’s Travel Industry Today by John Alwyn-Jones, Special Correspondent, Global Travel Media

 

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