U.S. CDC, State Dept warn against Turkey travel, ease India advisory

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A social distancing sign is seen before the Turkish Airlines check-in counters at the international departure terminal of the Istanbul Airport amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Istanbul, Turkey June 19, 2020. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

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WASHINGTON, Aug 16 (Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. State Department warned on Monday against travel to Turkey because of a rising number of COVID-19 cases in that nation but eased its advisories for India.

The CDC added Turkey to its "Level 4: Very High" COVID-19 level, while the State Department issued its parallel: "Level 4: Do Not Travel" advisory.

The CDC lowered India to "Level 2: Moderate," while the State Department eased its India rating to "Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution."

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U.S. President Joe Biden on April 30 imposed new travel restrictions on India in light of COVID-19, barring most non-U.S. citizens from entering the United States who had been in India within the previous 14 days.

There are no U.S. travel restrictions for travelers from Turkey.

In additional to India, the United States currently bars most non-U.S. citizens who within the last 14 days have been in the United Kingdom, the 26 Schengen nations in Europe without internal border controls, or in Ireland, China, South Africa, Iran and Brazil.

The CDC currently lists more than 70 countries at its travel advisory rating.

Last week, CDC and the U.S. State Department lowered the COVID-19 travel advisory for Canada to "Level 2."

Despite the change, the U.S. government shows no sign of easing any COVID-19 restrictions.

White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients reiterated on Aug. 5 that in light "of the Delta variant, the United States will maintain the existing travel restrictions at this point."

On Aug. 9, Canada opened to fully vaccinated American tourists for the first time in 16 months. The United States has not eased any restrictions that barring non-essential non-U.S. citizens from crossing its land borders with Mexico and Canada.

Those current U.S. restrictions have been repeatedly renewed in 30-day increments and are expected to be extended before they expire on Aug. 21.

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Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Jonathan Oatis

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