CDC Eases Face Mask Restrictions But Not On Travel

CDC Eases Face Mask Restrictions But Not On Travel

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention eased its recommendations for a face mask.

The new recommendations mean that most Americans can go without wearing a mask. The CDC also debuted a new tool for people to make determinations on when masking may be necessary.

“We're in a stronger place today as a nation with more tools to protect ourselves and our community from COVID-19,”

Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky

Instead of focusing on COVID-19 case numbers, the CDC is considering hospitalisation rates and hospital capacity on a county-by-county basis.

The new approach measures the need for masks by “community levels,” and is a way to, “give people a break from mask-wearing when levels are low,” she said.

Three new levels of transmission—High, Medium or Low—have been designated, and Americans can look up by county to determine the risk.

Under the CDC's new approach, about 70 percent of the United States is considered low-to-medium risk and will no longer be advised to require face masks in any setting, including schools.

Travellers can determine the risk in each destination they are travelling to in the United States by checking the CDCs new interactive chart.

Calls To End US Travel Restrictions

Major travel-related agencies are calling on the Biden Administration to end COVID-19 restrictions and regulations that inhibit the near $2 trillion US tourism industry.

Despite the CDC's new guidelines dropping restrictions for 70% of the country, the federal mandate requiring face masks on planes, trains, and public transit also remain in place until at least 18 March 2022.

The CDC's latest update is “intended for communities not for travel,” Walensky said.

The groups cited key figures to back their request, noting that business travel spending was approximately 50 percent below 2019 levels, and international travel spending was down a staggering 78 percent compared to 2019.

The group specifically requested the following:

  • Removal of pre-departure testing requirements for all fully vaccinated inbound international arrivals.
  • Repeal the federal mask mandate for public transportation networks or provide a clear roadmap to remove the mask mandate within 90 days.
  • End “Avoid Travel” advisories and the use of travel bans.
  • Work with other countries to normalise travel conditions and entry requirements.
  • By June 1, develop benchmarks and timelines for a pathway to the new normal that repeals pandemic-focused travel restrictions.
  • Send a clear message to the American public and the world that it is safe to travel again, particularly for vaccinated individuals.

“This industry group remains ready to assist the Biden administration in advancing these necessary endemic-era policies and restoring the U.S. travel economy.”

Letter to the White House

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