The United States has warned its citizens to not travel to Australia, declaring the risk of contracting Covid-19 is too ‘severe’.
The US State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their travel advice on Wednesday, slapping Australia with a Level 4 ‘Do Not Travel’ rating – the same as war-torn nations like North Korea, Afghanistan, and Syria.
Australia recorded an additional 80,000 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, with hospitalization rates at record highs and supply chain disruption leaving supermarket shelves across the country bare.
Even with the highest number of Covid cases in the world since the pandemic began, the US administration warned Americans to avoid a trip Down Under.
‘Do not travel to Australia due to COVID-19–related travel restrictions,’ the travel advice says.
‘The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Australia due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country.
‘Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine.’
‘There are restrictions in place affecting U.S. citizen entry into Australia.’
Since the pandemic began, the US has recorded 69 million Covid infections and a death toll of 877,000.
Daily cases during the Omicron wave have soared as high as 894,000 cases with figures now sitting at about 570,000 per day.
The decision comes by the US comes just one day after the European Union also deemed Australia a Covid danger zone following a daily pandemic death record.
Travel rules for unvaccinated arrivals were tightened on Tuesday to include travelers from Australia, Argentina, and Canada, amid soaring Omicron variant cases.
The European Council of the European Union announced it would continue recommending a ban on non-essential travel to those nations.
Melbourne and Buenos Aires have also had the world’s longest lockdowns.
Despite that, Australia is regarded as unsafe with a record 77 new daily coronavirus deaths announced on Tuesday.
But the European Council recommended travel, regardless of vaccination status, to New Zealand, Colombia, China, Indonesia and even Rwanda.
Colombia has seen 5.5 million coronavirus cases to date, and more than 131,000 deaths, while the virus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019.
Australia’s Covid death toll has been relatively low throughout most of the pandemic, but Omicron is creating challenges with more than 60,000 new daily cases since December.