US CDC, State Department warns against travel in Turkey, facilitates counseling in India

WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 (Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. State Department warned on Monday against travel to Turkey due to an increasing number of COVID -19 cases in that nation, but left its advice to India.

The CDC added Turkey to its “Level 4: Very High” COVID-19 level, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued its parallel: “Level 4: Do Not Travel” advice.

The CDC lowered India to “Level 2: Moderate”, while the Foreign Ministry lowered its rating in India to “Level 2: Practice increased caution.”

US President Joe Biden on April 30 introduced new travel restrictions for India in light of COVID-19, preventing most non-US citizens from entering the US who had been in India within the previous 14 days.

There are no US travel restrictions for travelers from Turkey.

In addition to India, the United States currently blocks most non-US citizens who have been in the UK within the last 14 days, the 26 Schengen nations in Europe without internal border controls, or in Ireland, China, South Africa, Iran and Brazil.

The CDC currently shows more than 70 countries with its travel advisory rating.

Last week, the CDC and the US State Department lowered COVID-19 travel guidance to Canada to “Level 2”

Despite the change, the US government shows no signs of easing any COVID-19 restrictions.

White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients reiterated on August 5 that in light of the “Delta variant, the United States will maintain existing travel restrictions at this time.”

On August 9, Canada opened to fully vaccinated U.S. tourists for the first time in 16 months. The United States has not eased any restrictions that prevent non-essential non-US citizens from crossing the land borders of Mexico and Canada.

These current U.S. restrictions have been repeatedly renewed in 30-day increments and are expected to be extended before expiring on August 21st.

Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Jonathan Oatis

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