The State Department said the latest update reflected a low level of COVID-19 infections in South Korea.
As a result, major tour operators and airlines have added a record-high number of new direct flights to the country to meet the burgeoning demand.
People receive the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at a mobile vaccination clinic in Bridgeport, Connecticut on April 20.
The alert changes are positive for many travelers looking to head to Europe this year. Photo: Getty ImagesWhat is the difference between the two levels?
The CDC said it now views Japan as having a "high level of COVID-19 in the country", rather than a "very high level". The change in criteria sees Level 4 countries as the ones with the worst outbreaks, at 500 cases per 100,000 people. Previously, to be categorized as Level 4, a case rate of 100 per 100,000 people was required.
"Avoid travel to Costa Rica", the CDC says.
Level 3 suggests that tourists "reconsider travel" but does not actively advise against it. It urges unvaccinated travelers to avoid nonessential travel to those destinations.
More information on global travel can be found here.
In the USA, new infections are at the lowest levels since the pandemic began in March 2020. This puts it on par with South Africa, Iran, most of the Schengen Area, and the UK.
The State Department also elevated 11 nations to say that Americans can exercise normal precautions when traveling there - the standard U.S. travel advice for developed nations before the pandemic.
The CDC's new ratings, first reported by Reuters and posted on a CDC website on Monday, include 61 nations that were lowered from its highest "Level 4" rating that discouraged all travel to recommending travel for fully vaccinated individuals, the agency confirmed on Tuesday. This restriction also remains in effect for fully vaccinated passengers. That number is expected to continue to trend upwards as over 61% of people ages 12 and older in the USA have received at least one dose.
"This summer we have more direct flights from the U.S. than we've ever had, which shows that Americans want to travel to Greece", the Greek Prime Minister noted earlier in June.