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Photo: Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Image

The State Department on Tuesday slightly eased the severity of travel advisories for dozens of countries.

Why it matters: The agency is still recommending that Americans avoid international travel to these countries due to serious risks associated with the pandemic, in its second-highest warning level.

Details: Ukraine, Switzerland, South Africa, Mexico, Japan, Italy, France, Guatemala, Bulgaria and the Philippines are among those countries now under the "Level 3" travel warning.

  • The agency said in a statement that it updated travel advisories to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's health notices, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper

Jun 8, 2021 - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: America says goodbye to the pandemic

Data: Axios-Ipsos poll; Survey of U.S. adults, March 5-8 and June 4-7, 2021; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

In a very short time, Americans have returned to doing the things many haven't done in a long time — and now see less risk than ever in returning to their pre-pandemic lives, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: The number of people who say they've ventured out to eat or see friends and relatives has been inching up steadily as Americans get their shots. And compared to just three months ago, their perception of the risk has plummeted.

Jun 8, 2021 - Health

Mastercard Foundation donates $1.3 billion to Africa's COVID-19 response

A Red Cross volunteer takes the temperature of a man in Kampala, Uganda, on April 1, 2020. Photo: Sumy Sadurni/AFP via Getty Images

The Mastercard Foundation announced a $1.3 billion donation aimed at improving Africa's coronavirus response Tuesday, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The funding will be distributed over three years and is intended to help acquire vaccines for more than 50 million people and improve manufacturing and delivery systems.

Jun 8, 2021 - Health

Trump's surgeon general criticizes alcohol-related vaccine incentives

Adams receives the COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 18, 2020. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Jerome Adams, the U.S. surgeon general under former President Trump, criticized states who are offering lottery tickets, beer and donuts as prizes for getting the coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: Adams said he was "uncomfortable" with the "public health trade offs" involved with certain kinds of vaccine incentives, pointing to a report put out by the current surgeon general warning about the health effects of alcohol consumption.

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