The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised travel health noticesfor dozens of countries to a lower risk tier on Monday, adjusting travel guidance for vaccinated Americans in the process.

A total of 62 destinations – including Japan, Canada, Mexico, Italy, France and Germany – dropped from “COVID-19 very high” Level 4 tier to “COVID-19 high” Level 3 tier on the CDC’s travel recommendations list, which rates the risks by country

While the CDC had advised all travelers to avoid these destinations while they were considered “COVID-19 very high,” it now cautions travelers to make sure they are fully vaccinated before traveling to these regions. Unvaccinated travelers should still avoid nonessential travel to the Level 3 destinations, the agency said. 

The changes come as vaccination rates across the U.S. continue to climb. As of Monday, 51.6% of the total U.S. population had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 42.1% were fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.  

What are the new CDC travel guidelines? 

The CDC’s travel guidance now gives specific advice to vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. 

The recent updates follow the CDC’s decision to update the criteria it uses to determine travel health notice levels “to better differentiate countries with severe outbreak situations from countries with sustained, but controlled, COVID-19 spread,” according to its website.

‘Do not travel’ list:The US State Department is raises the alert level for countries due to COVID-19

The update ensures that travel health notice levels “reflect the current global situation and are aligned with guidance for international travel,” which says people should not travel unless fully vaccinated, the CDC said in a Tuesday statement. 

About a quarter of the 246 destinations listed in the CDC’s travel recommendations page are at Level 4, where the CDC says those who “must travel” to these destinations should make sure they are fully vaccinated. North Korea, Haiti, Nicaragua and Uzbekistan were added to this tier Monday. 

According to the CDC’s website, about 64 destinations are now at Level 3.

Twenty-one are listed at Level 2, which is considered “COVID-19 moderate.” The CDC asks that travelers are fully vaccinated before traveling to these destinations, and says unvaccinated travelers who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should avoid nonessential travel to these destinations. Seventeen destinations were moved to this tier on Monday, including El Salvador, Finland and Kenya. 

Japan’s place on travel advisory lists: What we know about Tokyo Olympics

Another 56 are rated a Level 1, in which the CDC suggests that Americans make sure they are fully vaccinated before traveling to these destinations. Thirty-four countries were added to the tier on Monday, including Israel, Fiji and South Korea.  

Another 13 destinations – including Ireland and the U.S. Virgin Islands – were handed a “level unknown” label on Monday. The CDC suggests avoiding travel to these destinations. 

The State Department, which factors in the CDC’s guidance when determining its own travel advisories, updated its advice to U.S. travelers this

Air India, which runs about 30 weekly non-stop flights to and from the US, have announced that they will be slashing the frequency of these flights from later this week. 

Air India has also released a schedule of all the cancelled flights to and from America beginning from May 6, 14 and up to the first week of June. The schedule is tentative and will be updated according to the status of the travel restrictions on India.

READ:  India Extends Ban on International Flights till May 31

Besides Air India, United Airlines is the only other aviation firm to operate non-stop flights between the US and India. Since the announcement of the ban, United Airlines has switched to larger capacity planes such as Boeing 787 and 777. They aim to fly in more medical support as cargo to India (alongside a larger number of passengers from India before the ban is enforced).

READ: Here’s the List of Countries who have Banned Travellers from India

The revised schedule of Air India’s cancelled flights include:

The Delhi- San Francisco flight – AI 173/174 between May 6 and June 3 usually taking of on Thursdays.

The AI 183/176- DEL-SFO-Bengaluru (BLR) between May 11 and June 1 of Tuesday.

AI 175/184 – BLR-SFO-DEL between May 13 and June 3 on Day 4 of Thursday.

DEL-Chicago (ORD)-DEL – AI 127/126, of Mondays and Fridays between May 7 and May 21.

AI 105/10 DEL-Newark (EWR)-DEL of Fridays and Sundays between May 9 and May 30.

DEL-EWR-DEL- AI 105/106. of Mondays between May 10 and May 31.

AI 103/104. DEL-Washington (IAD) -DEL of May 7.

AI 103/104. DEL-IAD-DEL of Sundays between May 9 and May 30

AI 104. I AD-DEL of Wednesdays between May 12 and June 2

AI 103. DEL-IAD of Fridays between May 14 and June 4

AI 191/144. BOM-EWR-BOM of May 30.

And a few more flights.

READ: From COVID Tests to Quarantine Rules, These are the State-Wise Travel Guidelines

The US travel ban from India came into effect on May 4, and resulted in one-way flight fares shooting up for flights from India’s main metropolitan cities such as Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi. 

On May 1, the cheapest flight ticket available to New York started at 7 lakh for an Air India flight. The chances of Indians getting on board from May 2 were slim as a negative COVID 19 report is obligatory to enter the US and getting that test result in 24 hours was likely impossible. This has increased the demand for charter flights from India to the US. However,  charter flights are mostly smaller in size and do not have permit to fly over the Atlantic Ocean.