The US Government has issued a travel warning for New Zealand and its “23 active cases” of COVID-19, despite clocking up more than two million active cases on its own shores.
As the US death toll climbs past 160,000, President Donald Trump ramped up restrictions on travel to Aotearoa while also hinting at a pre-election vaccine discovery.
On the US Government’s official website travel advice for citizens, it calls for increased caution when travelling to New Zealand and places the country at Level 2 on its advisory system – with the warning to “exercise increased caution due to COVID-19”.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had previously issued a Level 1 travel advice notice for New Zealand – with the shift to Level 2 updated online yesterday.
“As of August 7, 2020 New Zealand has had 1569 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 within its borders.”
“Currently, there are 23 active cases in New Zealand,” it states.
No further clarification of the status of New Zealand’s 23 cases is given on the website.
The US has four levels of travel advice available for its citizens: Level 1 – Exercise Normal Precautions; Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution; Level 3 – Reconsider Travel and Level 4 – Do Not Travel.
Today Donald Trump signalled a pre-election miracle, telling a media conference a vaccine for coronavirus would become available “sooner than the end of the year”.
US disease expert, Anthony Fauci quickly moved to clarify the President’s comments, telling journalists a more realistic timeframe for a vaccine would be “early next year”.
The US travel advice in relation to Australia is currently listed as Level 3 – Reconsider Travel.
“Australia has resumed most transportation options (including airport operations and reopening of borders) and business operations (including day cares and schools),” the advice states.
“Other improved conditions have been reported within Australia.”