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U.S. State Department lifts global travel advisory, but keeps Costa Rica at Level 4

The United States on Thursday lifted a warning to its citizens to avoid all foreign travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, pointing to improvements.

The State Department said it would instead resume considering each country on a case-by-case basis.

“With health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the Department is returning to our previous system,” it said in a statement.

“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 U.S. borders remain closed to most travelers from the European Union, which also bans most U.S. citizens 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.

Costa Rica remains at Level 4

The State Department is keeping Costa Rica at a Level 4 ranking, indicating that U.S. citizens should not travel to the Central American country.

“Do not travel to Costa Rica due to COVID-19,” the alert reads. “Exercise increased caution in Costa Rica due to crime.

“Travelers to Costa Rica may experience border closures, airport closures, travel prohibitions, stay at home orders, business closures, and other emergency conditions within Costa Rica due to COVID-19. ”

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Costa Rica had been at a Level 2 — “exercise increased caution” — due to crime. Costa Rican authorities “categorically rejected” the drop to a Level 2, which occurred in January.

Costa Rica has closed its borders to tourists from the United States since mid-March.

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