EU nations OK COVID travel pass as CDC updates travel guidance

CDC Issues New Travel Advice , for Over 120 Countries.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its travel guidance for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers June 7.The updated advice moved 33 countries, including Iceland and Singapore, into the lowest risk category.The CDC has determined threat levels based on the number of COVID-19 cases in each country.The agency recommends thatpeople get vaccinated before traveling, but for those who remain unvaccinated, .the guidance varies based on each country's threat level, with level 4 being the highest risk

Two days after the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its international travel guidelines, European Union lawmakers endorsed a new travel certificate allowing people to move between European countries without quarantining or extra coronavirus tests.

The widely awaited certificate is aimed at saving Europe’s travel industry and prime tourist sites from another disastrous vacation season. Key travel destinations such as Greece have led the drive to have the certificate, which will have paper and digital forms, rapidly introduced.

Several EU countries have already begun using the system, including Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece and Poland.

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On Monday, the CDC updated its travel guidelines for more than 100 countries. More than 30 countries were moved into the lowest risk category, according to CNN. It continues to recommend avoiding travel to level four countries such as Brazil, Iraq, India, Haiti and North Korea.

»Click here for the CDC’s interactive travel map

At every level, the CDC recommends getting vaccinated, but its guidance for unvaccinated people varies by how severe the pandemic is in each country.

Spain jump-started its summer tourism season Monday by welcoming vaccinated visitors from most countries as well as European tourists who can prove they are not infected with the coronavirus. It also reopened its ports to cruise ships.

The move opened borders for the first tourists from the United States and other countries outside of the European Union since those travelers were banned in March last year, when the pandemic hit global travel.

Spain is still banning nonessential travelers from Brazil, India and South Africa, where virus variants have been been a major source of concern.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will use the Group of Seven wealthy democracies’ summit to urge world leaders to commit to vaccinating the global population by the end of 2022.

Johnson is expected to stress the importance of a global vaccination drive when he meets with fellow world leaders on Friday in Cornwall, on England’s southwestern coast, for the first face-to-face G-7 summit since the pandemic hit.

“The world is looking to us to rise to the greatest challenge of the postwar era: defeating COVID and leading a global recovery driven by our shared values,” he said in a statement Sunday. “Vaccinating the world by the end of next year would be the single greatest feat in medical history.”

President Joe Biden and the leaders of Canada, France, Italy and Japan will arrive in Cornwall on Friday for three days of talks focusing on the global recovery from the pandemic.

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Britain’s government pledged in February to give most of the country’s surplus vaccine supply to COVAX, the U.N.-backed program aiming to supply poorer countries with jabs.

But the U.K. hasn’t yet put a figure on how many doses it will donate. The country, with a population of about 70 million people, has ordered around 400 million doses of vaccines. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said the U.K. doesn’t have any excess doses at the moment and that “we’re just getting them into arms as quickly as possible.”

The Sunday Times reported that Johnson is set to announce at the summit that the U.K. will pledge to donate more than 2 billion pounds’ worth of jabs this year, with further donations in 2022.

The U.S. has said it plans to share 80 million doses of its surplus vaccine globally by the end of June, most of them through COVAX.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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