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State Department lowers dozens of countries from ‘Do Not Travel’ to ‘Reconsider Travel’ status

Passengers waited near departure gates in Logan airport's Terminal A on May 20.
Passengers waited near departure gates in Logan airport's Terminal A on May 20.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

A month and a half after warning Americans not to travel to most of the world, the US State Department is easing travel advisories for dozens of countries — at least a little.

The department on Tuesday said it was taking 58 countries and territories out of the Level 4, or "Do Not Travel," category and designating them as Level 3, or "Reconsider Travel," destinations. Another 27 places were moved to the first two levels, where travelers are urged to exercise increased caution or exercise normal precautions.

Among the countries no longer in the "Do Not Travel" bucket: Japan, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Switzerland, Canada and Mexico.

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Tuesday's shuffling was prompted by changes to travel health notices by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency said it updated the primary and secondary criteria that it uses in determining those notice levels "to better differentiate countries with severe outbreak situations from countries with sustained, but controlled, covid-19 spread."

As a result, 62 destinations were recategorized from the highest warning level to the second-highest. For those countries in the second-highest level, the CDC says that unvaccinated travelers should avoid nonessential travel and that anyone visiting should be fully vaccinated.

Another 15 destinations were moved to the moderate level, and 34 were placed in the low COVID-19 level.

The State Department uses the CDC's notices to determine its own travel advisories. But, the department said, it considers other factors including coronavirus-related travel restrictions, crime and terrorism. That means its advisories won't always line up with the CDC's.

“The Department of State has no greater responsibility than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas,” the department said in a statement. “As conditions evolve, we regularly update our advice to U.S. travelers.”