Picture used for illustrative purpose only.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Monday it had dropped its "Do Not Travel" COVID-19 recommendations for about 90 international destinations.
Last week, the CDC said it was revising its travel recommendations and said it would its reserve Level 4 travel health notices "for special circumstances, such as rapidly escalating case trajectory or extremely high case counts."
The countries and others regions dropped to "Level 3: High," which still discourages travel by unvaccinated Americans, include the United Kingdom, France, Israel, Turkey, Australia, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain and Russia.
Meanwhile, a federal judge in Florida has voided the national mask mandate covering airplanes and other public transportation as exceeding the authority of U.S. health officials even in the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision Monday by U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in Tampa, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, also said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention improperly failed to justify its decision and did not follow proper rulemaking.
In her 59-page ruling, Mizelle said the only remedy was to vacate the rule entirely because it would be impossible to end it for the limited group of people who objected to it in the lawsuit.
"Because our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends, the court declares unlawful and vacates the mask mandate,” she wrote.
The CDC recently extended the mask mandate, which was set to expire Monday, until May 3 to allow more time to study the BA.2 omicron subvariant of the coronavirus that is now responsible for the vast majority of cases in the U.S.
The mask requirement for travelers was the target of months of lobbying from the airlines, which sought to kill it. The carriers argued that effective air filters on modern planes make transmission of the virus during a flight highly unlikely. Republicans in Congress also fought to kill the mandate.
Critics have seized on the fact that states have rolled back rules requiring masks in restaurants, stores and other indoor settings, and yet COVID-19 cases have fallen sharply since the omicron variant peaked in mid-January.
Wearing a mask is optional for all facilities and places, open and closed. It is left to airlines to decide whether or not to wear a mask on board the aircraft. Wearing a mask is optional in the closed and open areas in schools
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted a state of emergency for Tokyo and four remaining areas on Monday after the number of infections fell across Japan, but warned that it could be reimposed if the virus started spreading again.
Only 5,000 tourists will be allowed in a day, split into two groups, a far cry from peak levels of 80,000 a day who would swarm the mausoleum built in the northern city of Agra by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his wife, in a 22-year effort.
President Donald Trump finally yielded to pressure and wore a face mask in public for the first time on Saturday as the US posted another daily record for coronavirus cases, while Disney World reopened in a state hit hard by the pandemic.
Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed conveyed to the Tunisian President the greetings of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and expressed his appreciation for the warm reception, generous hospitality
President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a message of condolences to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia on the death of the mother of Prince Khalid Bin Saad Bin Saud Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
The king also said the only way to end the decades-old conflict was to find a "political horizon" for Palestinians that would create a Palestinian state on territory Israel occupied in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, including east Jerusalem.
Activists in the key midwestern battleground — where Biden's winning margin four years ago was a mere 150,000 votes — want Michigan residents to vote "uncommitted" in protest, pressuring the president to back off from his Israel support and call for an immediate ceasefire.