The United States has added seven countries to its “Do Not Travel” list, including two destinations that recently launched digital nomad visa programs to attract foreign remote workers.
On Oct. 4, the U.S. State Department issued Level 4 travel advisories for Armenia, Austria, Barbados, Croatia, French West Indies, Latvia and New Caledonia due to their high levels of COVID-19 infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also issued Level 4 health advisories for the same destinations.
Barbados introduced a digital visa program in June 2020, and Croatia started a similar program in January 2021. The countries launched the initiatives to lure in some of the millions of new remote workers created by the pandemic and prop up their COVID-ravaged tourism industries.
The State Department issues travel advisories based on a variety of factors, including health concerns, serious weather conditions, crime or terrorist activities, natural disasters and civil unrest.
Level 1 advisories mean travelers can exercise normal precautions, Level 2 means they should use increased caution and Level 3 means they should reconsider travel. Level 4 means do not travel.
The CDC also uses a Level 1 to Level 4 system for its travel health notices. For COVID-19, Level 4 means that a country or region has reported more than 500 positive coronavirus cases per 100,000 population members in the past 28 days.
Americans can still travel to Level 4 countries if they wish. The government provides the advisories so citizens can make informed decisions about their health and safety as they travel.
The U.S. has also issued new Level 3 travel advisories for Argentina, France, Iceland, Lesotho, Morocco, Nepal, Portugal and South Africa, with the CDC issuing matching Level 3 travel health notices for each country.
COVID-19 is the primary travel concern for all destinations on the Level 3 list, but South Africa also has crime and civil unrest warnings. France and Morocco have additional terrorism warnings.
The State Department has issued a new Level 2 travel advisory for Peru based on COVID-19, crime and terrorism. The CDC has also issued a Level 2 travel health notice for the country.