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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

Updated Jun 11, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Emergency room visits of all kinds dropped amid the pandemic.
  2. Vaccines: FDA clears 10 million J&J vaccine doses from contaminated Baltimore plant — Moderna asks FDA to expand COVID-19 vaccine authorization to adolescents.
  3. Cities: Seattle becomes first major city to get 70% fully vaccinated.
  4. Work: Goldman Sachs requires U.S. employees to report vaccination status.
  5. Politics: U.S. to buy 500 million Pfizer doses to share with the world — State Department eases travel advisories for dozens of countries.
  6. World: G7 commits to sending 1 billion COVID vaccine doses to lower-income countries — BioNTech plans to expand mRNA vaccine production into Africa 2021 already has a higher global coronavirus death toll than 2020.
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Back to normal without herd immunity.
  8. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Watchdog: Agency infighting increased health and safety risks at start of pandemic

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci (R) and Stephen Redd of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response participate in a briefing on the latest development of the coronavirus in March 12, 2020. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Management failures among federal agencies contributed to "health and safety risks" as the U.S. tried to return citizens from abroad and quarantine them domestically at the outset of the pandemic, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report requested by Congress out Monday.

Why it matters: The 13-month investigation revealed that lack of preparation led to infighting at the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) as divisions repeatedly clashed about who should oversee rescue operations, according to the report.

Apr 19, 2021 - Health

All U.S. adults now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

Healthcare workers getting COVID-19 vaccines on Dec. 16, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. Photo: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

All 50 U.S. states, plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, have made U.S. adults over the age of 16 eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, successfully meeting the April 19 deadline set by President Biden.

Why it matters: The landmark speaks to the increased pace of the national vaccination campaign, but will increase pressure on the federal government, states and pharmaceutical companies to provide adequate vaccine supply and logistics.