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Americans should avoid travel to Canada amid COVID surge, U.S. CDC says

Click to play video: 'Banff tour operators expect another hit as Americans urged to avoid travel in Canada' Banff tour operators expect another hit as Americans urged to avoid travel in Canada
WATCH: Alberta’s tourism industry could take another hit with the U.S. CDC advising Americans not to travel north of the border because of rising COVID-19 cases. This comes as struggling tour operators were starting to see Americans return to places like Banff after restrictions eased. As Ina Sidhu reports, now some fear they are in for another setback – Jan 11, 2022

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday advised against travel to Canada because of a rising number of COVID-19 cases.

The CDC elevated its travel recommendation to “Level Four: Very High” for Canada, telling Americans they should avoid travel to its northern neighbor.

Read more: U.S. CDC says no COVID-19 test required after 5-day isolation period

The CDC currently lists about 80 destinations worldwide at Level Four. It also raised Curaçao to Level Four on Monday.

The United States in November lifted restrictions at its land borders with Canada and Mexico for fully vaccinated foreign nationals, ending historic curbs on non-essential travelers in place since March 2020 to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canada remains one of the top foreign destinations for Americans.

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The Canadian government did not immediately comment Monday.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: CDC approves booster for ages 12-15 as it stands firm on isolation requirements' COVID-19: CDC approves booster for ages 12-15 as it stands firm on isolation requirements
COVID-19: CDC approves booster for ages 12-15 as it stands firm on isolation requirements – Jan 5, 2022

Last month, Canada’s government implored residents not to leave the country for non-essential travel.

Canada advised residents in March 2020 not to travel abroad for non-essential reasons like tourism. It withdrew the notice in October – before the first Omicron cases were reported – citing the success of vaccination campaigns.

The CDC on Monday also lowered travel recommendations from Level Four to “Level 3: High” to Armenia, Belarus, Lesotho and Zimbabwe. It also rate Singapore as “Level 3,” after it previously was listed as unknown.

The CDC says Americans should be fully vaccinated before traveling to Level 3 destinations.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in the United States reached a fresh high of 132,646, according to a Reuters tally on Monday, surpassing the record of 132,051 set in January last year, amid a surge of the highly contagious Omicron variant.

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Reporting by David Shepardson; additional reporting by David Ljunggren Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Aurora Ellis

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