The State Department has upgraded its warning against international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic from level three to level four, meaning that Americans should not venture abroad for any reason.
“In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period,” Thursday’s advisory instructed.
“U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel.” The department also announced a heavy reduction in passport issuance, saying it would suspend expedited applications and only accept passport requests from Americans with life-or-death emergencies who intend to travel within 72 hours.
Additionally, some libraries, post offices, and other application centers may stop accepting applications. The news comes after a Washington-based employee for the State Department tested positive for coronavirus. Although not confirmed, that staffer is believed to work in the building that houses the main passport office.
source: Associated Press