Coronavirus: US lifts advice to avoid all international travel due to COVID-19

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The United States on Thursday lifted a global health advisory imposed in March that advised US citizens to avoid all international travel because of the coronavirus pandemic, the State Department said.

"With health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the department is returning to our previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice," it said in a statement.

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"We continue to recommend US citizens exercise caution when traveling abroad due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic."

The announcement comes as President Donald Trump seeks a quick return to normal in the United States, which has suffered by far the highest number of deaths from COVID-19.

But US borders remain closed to most travelers from the European Union, which also bans most Americans due to the risk of contagion.

Under the new ratings, the United States is still advising precautions for most countries.

Among the few recipients of the "Level 1" ranking -- which means no special concerns for travel -- were Taiwan, which has won wide acclaim for its handling of the pandemic, and Australia.

The United States gave a Level 3 status -- which means to reconsider travel -- to many allies including Britain, France and Germany.

It kept the Level 4 warning to avoid all travel for India, which has seen growing cases of COVID-19.

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