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Drivers wait in line at the Canadian border crossing in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Washington: The US State Department has lowered the COVID-19 travel advisory for Canada to “Level 2 Exercise Increased Caution”, according to a statement on Tuesday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also eased Canada’s travel recommendation rating to Level 2.

Despite the change, the US government shows no sign of easing restrictions for Canadian tourists, who are barred from entering United States land borders. On Monday, Canada opened to fully vaccinated American tourists for the first time in 16 months.

Canada barred all leisure travel from the United States in March 2020 because of the cornavirus pandemic. But as of Aug. 9 fully vaccinated Americans are able to enter the country.

The US travel restrictions for non-essential travelers at the Canadian and Mexican land borders are set to expire on Aug. 21 but are likely to again be renewed.

The State Department also said the advisory for several countries, including Vietnam, Austria and Kenya, was raised to “Level 3 “ Reconsider Travel.” The CDC warned on Monday against travel to Israel, France, Thailand, Iceland and several other countries because of a rising number of infections in those places.

The State Department also issued its parallel “Level 4: Do Not Travel” advisories for Iceland and France on Monday and confirmed on Tuesday it was adding Israel to that list. As recently as last month, Israel was listed at “Level 1” by the US governent agencies before being hiked by two levels.