Americans advised to avoid travel to Canada due to rising COVID-19 caseload

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising against travel to Canada because of rising numbers of COVID-19 cases.

Canada is one of about 80 countries classified as 'Level 4: Very High'

A woman rests her head on her luggage as she awaits the results of her COVID-19 test at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Dec. 29, 2021. The U.S. CDC has added Canada to the list of countries it's advising Americans to avoid due to COVID-19 cases. (Alex Brandon/The Associated Press)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday advised against travel to Canada because of a rising number of COVID-19 cases.

The CDC elevated its travel recommendation to "Level 4: Very High" for Canada, telling Americans they should avoid travelling there.

The CDC currently lists about 80 destinations worldwide at Level 4. It says that if people must travel, they should make sure they are fully vaccinated. 

The United Kingdom, Italy and France are among the other Level 4 countries, along with many other countries in Europe and Africa.

The United States in November lifted restrictions at its land borders with Canada and Mexico for fully vaccinated foreign nationals, ending historic curbs on non-essential travelers in place since March 2020 to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Travellers move through Miami's international airport on Jan. 4, 2022. The CDC says Americans should be fully vaccinated if they are considering travel to Canada. (Marta Lavandier/The Associated Press)

Canadians advised against non-essential travel

Canada remains one of the top foreign destinations for Americans.

The Canadian government did not immediately comment Monday.

Last month, the federal government implored Canadians not to leave the country for non-essential travel.

Canada advised residents in March 2020 not to travel abroad for non-essential reasons like tourism. It withdrew the notice in October — before the first Omicron variant cases were reported — citing the success of vaccination campaigns, but has since reinstated its advice against all non-essential travel.

The CDC on Monday also lowered travel recommendations from Level 4 to "Level 3: High" for Armenia, Belarus, Lesotho and Zimbabwe. Level 3 advises people to avoid nonessential travel to the countries listed. The CDC also rates Singapore as "Level 3," after it previously was listed as unknown.

The CDC says Americans should also be fully vaccinated before traveling to Level 3 destinations.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in the United States reached a fresh high of 132,646, according to a Reuters tally on Monday, surpassing the record of 132,051 set in January last year.

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