State Dept, CDC lift travel advisories, but where are we welcome?

As the Trump administration lifts its "Do Not Travel" advisory on international travel, much of the world is keeping its doors closed to American visitors.
Image: A passenger walks in an empty terminal at the "Franz-Josef-Strauss" airport in Munich
A passenger walks in an empty terminal at the "Franz-Josef-Strauss" airport in Munich on May 27, 2020.Christof Stache / AFP - Getty Images
By Steve Benen

For Americans eager to engage in international travel, I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is, the Trump administration is lifting the "Do Not Travel" advisory it issued in mid-March. Reuters reported yesterday:

The U.S. State Department and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention on Thursday lifted global advisories recommending U.S. citizens avoid all international travel because of the coronavirus pandemic, and instead issued a raft of high-level warnings for individual countries.

"With health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the department is returning to our previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice," the State Department said in a statement.

And what's the bad news? As USA Today reported the other day, a lot of countries aren't exactly eager to welcome us.

For the second time this month, the European Union extended its travel ban on Americans on Thursday [July 30], as COVID-19 infections continued to rise across the United States. The EU first started lifting its travel restrictions outside the bloc on July 1, welcoming visitors from 14 countries, including Canada, South Korea and Australia. The U.S. was left off that initial list, and the EU extended its ban on Americans visiting the bloc on July 16.

Closer to home, the U.S./Canada border is still closed to travelers, and Politico recently reported, "Canadians -- and some of their most prominent political leaders -- are staunchly opposed to hosting American visitors while the U.S. breaks records on confirmed Covid-19 infections on a daily basis.... Polling released last week by Abacus Data shows that 89 percent of Canadians want to see the border stay closed longer."

The New York Times published a related report today, noting Canadian officials urging Americans not to sneak into their country. The article added, "Some Canadian citizens, concerned about the spread of the coronavirus, are taking matters into their own hands and reporting illegal American visitors."

For what it's worth, when CNN's Brianna Keilar recently reminded Trump campaign press secretary Hogan Gidley that Canada won't let Americans in due to COVID-19 fears, Gidley replied, "I'm not sure why you would want to go to Canada when we live in the greatest country on the face of the planet, that's Donald Trump's mentality on it."

So to recap, as the Trump administration lifts its "Do Not Travel" advisory on international travel, much of the world is keeping its doors closed to American visitors. The Trump campaign's position, in effect, is that the president's "mentality" is that he doesn't think international travel is that great, anyway.