The department issued Level 4 travel advisories – the highest level – for both countries, “indicating a very high level of Covid-19 in the country.”
Prior to the announcement travel between the US and Germany had become easier in recent months. On November 8th, the US allowed EU citizens to enter the country on vacation the first time in 18 months.
Germany currently allows fully vaccinated people to enter the country from the US, or those who have a compelling reason for entering.
Europe’s return to the pandemic’s epicentre has been blamed on a sluggish vaccine uptake in some nations, the highly contagious Delta variant, and colder weather moving people indoors again.
In Germany, the EU’s most populous nation, just 68 percent of the population is fully jabbed.
According to the latest data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the country is seeing weekly incidences of almost 400 new Covid cases per 100,000 people, in addition to surging hospitalisations and deaths.
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The country has urged all vaccinated adults to get a booster jab to combat waning vaccine efficacy after six months.
“Probably by the end of this winter, as is sometimes cynically said, pretty much everyone in Germany will be vaccinated, cured or dead,” German Health Minister Jens Spahn said, as he urged more citizens to get the jab.
Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that Germany’s current Covid curbs – including barring the unvaccinated from certain public spaces – “are not enough.”
With intensive care beds swiftly filling up, Germany’s worst-hit regions have ordered new shutdowns, including the closure of Christmas markets.