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Photo: Ying Tang/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The State Department announced Monday that it will be issuing "do not travel" guidelines for roughly 80% of countries worldwide and urged Americans to "reconsider all travel abroad."

Why it matters: The announcement emphasizes the ongoing severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite a ramped up domestic vaccination campaign and many states moving to reopen. Globally, cases continue to surge.

What they're saying: "The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose unprecedented risks to travelers," reads the statement.

  • "This update will result in a significant increase in the number of countries at Level 4: Do Not Travel, to approximately 80% of countries worldwide."

For the record: The new guidelines, the department notes, are intended to better reflect the CDC's "existing epidemiological assessments" and will be updates as "conditions evolve."

Go deeper

Jul 29, 2021 - Health

European Union surpasses the U.S. in COVID-19 vaccinations

A line of people wait to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències de Valencia, on July 28, 2021. Photo: Rober Solsona/Europa Press via Getty Images

The member states of the European Union together have administered more coronavirus vaccine doses per 100 people than the United States, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The new figures highlight the pace at which the 27 member states of the E.U. are vaccinating their citizens, and stand in stark contrast to the speed of vaccinations in the U.S., which has stagnated.

Jul 29, 2021 - Health

The billion-dollar COVID booster discussion

A third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine could add billions of dollars in extra revenue for Pfizer. Photo: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Pfizer said yesterday that it expects to sell nearly $34 billion worth of coronavirus vaccines this year — and there could be billions more behind that, if people who have gotten the shot ultimately need boosters.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether, when and for whom a coronavirus vaccine booster will be necessary. Pfizer has a lot of money riding on those answers, and executives are already making the case that many Americans will need a third dose.

Jul 29, 2021 - Health

Israel to offer third COVID vaccine dose to people over 60

A woman receives her third dose of COVID19 vaccine at Sheba Medical Center on July 14, 2021 in Israel. Photo: Amir Levy/Getty Images

Israel will begin offering a third shot of the coronavirus vaccine to people over the age of 60 starting Sunday, Haaretz reports.

Why it matters: Israel will become the first country to begin giving booster shots, per Haaretz. The country will offer doses to those over 60 who received their second dose at least five months ago.