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State Dept. To Issue Travel Warnings Amid 'Unprecedented' COVID Risks

The updated guidelines, expected later this week, are intended to curb visits "to approximately 80% of countries" that are experiencing dramatic spikes in cases, the department said.

The U.S. State Department on Monday announced plans to expand travel advisories, urging U.S. citizens to stay home as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose "unprecedented risks" around the globe.

The updated travel guidelines are intended to curb visits "to approximately 80% of countries worldwide" which are currently experiencing dramatic spikes in cases, the department said in a statement. New guidance is expected be released later this week.

The latest recommendations come as the coronavirus "continues to pose unprecedented risks to travelers," and the new guidelines "better reflect the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's science-based Travel Health Notices," according to the notice.

The State Department added: "As always, we are closely monitoring conditions around the globe, and will regularly update our destination-specific advice to U.S. travelers as conditions evolve."

As of Monday afternoon, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported 141,786,586 COVID-19 cases around the world. The United States has confirmed more cases than any other country in the world — 31,733,400 with India, Brazil, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Italy, Spain and Germany rounding out the top 10 spots. Meanwhile, global deaths have surpassed 3 million, according to the latest data.

French President Emmanuel Macron in March extended a nationwide lockdown through the end of April, citing new, faster-spreading variants of the coronavirus. He called it "an epidemic within the epidemic."

As NPR reported, "In Brazil, deaths have topped 3,000 per day as the country is ravaged by the virus. Mexico has recorded more than 211,000 deaths. India has had more than 175,000 deaths and deaths in the United Kingdom have topped 127,000."

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