(Washington) The head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the United States has asked Americans to “reconsider travel” to Canada primarily for the benefit of those not yet vaccinated against COVID-19.
Dr. Rochelle Walinsky says the State Department’s travel warnings are generally based on regular assessments of a destination’s testing capacity, as well as the growth rate of new cases.
considered dRe Walinsky said, however, that people who are fully vaccinated and willing to wear masks can travel, provided they take into account the risks in the host country.
Monday’s new Level 3 travel advisory marks a swift end to a three-week period in which the State Department’s warning for US travelers to Canada was at Level 2, meaning “exercise caution.”
This Tier 2 upgrade coincided with Canada’s decision earlier in August to allow fully vaccinated US citizens and permanent residents to return home.
Only about 61% of eligible Americans are fully immunized, compared to about 75% of Canadians age 12 or older.
Meanwhile, the US is maintaining its current restrictions on non-essential travel for Canadians until at least September 21, citing the ongoing spread of the delta variant of COVID-19.
“We receive health advice for travel and generally check and monitor it on a daily basis; these look at testing capacity as well as case rates and we update travel advice by country in real time”Re Walensky at the COVID-19 task force meeting on Tuesday.
Fully vaccinated people who wear travel masks can, despite the current situation of disease transmission, we can say that people need to take these risks into account. ”
She added that people who are not immune should avoid travel altogether.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average seven-day hospitalization for people with COVID-19 is up 5.7% from the previous week, and the vast majority of new cases are among the unvaccinated.
“Nationally, new admissions of COVID-19 patients who have currently confirmed tests are at their highest level since the beginning of the pandemic for all age groups under 50,” the agency said.
The White House said about six million Americans were vaccinated last week, the highest weekly rate since early July, and about 14 million people received a first dose in August. The average number of doses given each day is 80% higher than in the previous month.
Asked about Tuesday’s travel warning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated his message that the best defense against the virus is vaccination, which is why Canada reopened its borders to Americans who have received an approved vaccine.
“We will continue to make our decisions about how to keep Canadians safe, and other countries will make the recommendations they need to keep their citizens safe,” Trudeau said while campaigning as leader of the Liberal Party.
“I know the way to overcome this is to continue to rely heavily and resolutely on immunization,” he added.
With information from Alison Jones in Toronto
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