The CDC slaps “do not travel” warning on 4 more countries as COVID-19 remains a threat to global travel

Feb 26, 2022

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While we are seeing many signs of optimism regarding COVID-19 such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) relaxing mask-wearing guidance in the U.S., we are far from done with the pandemic.

The TSA for example continues to mandate that masks be worn in airports and on board airplanes. And the coronavirus remains a major concern globally, with the latest proof coming with the CDC adding four more countries to its “avoid travel” category.

The CDC’s Level 4: Very High risk classification for COVID infections, its most severe travel warning, has ballooned to include more than half of the nations and territories on the planet. To be exact, there are 140 countries Americans are urged to not travel to at the moment.

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Morning sun over the town of Jakar in Bhutan. (photo: Merten Snijders/Getty Images)

The latest countries slapped with the Level 4 warning are:

  • Bhutan
  • Brunei
  • Iran
  • Malaysia

There is some cautious optimism to be gleaned from the CDC’s weekly update. This is the fewest number of countries to be bumped up to the Level 4 category in a week this year. Since January 1st, dozens of nations and territories have been added to the list, primarily due to rising cases related to the omicron variant.

According to the official CDC website, Level 4 classification means travelers should “avoid travel to these destinations. If you must travel to these destinations, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel.”

Countries and territories get categorized as Level 4 when 500 or more new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people are detected over the past 28 days.

Related: CDC warns against travel to the Caribbean due to COVID-19 danger

The CDC has four levels of travel recommendations, beginning at “low” risk and rising to “moderate,” “high” and finally its strongest warning, “very high.” The ratings are designed to help Americans navigate travel during the pandemic, especially now during a time when case levels vary wildly from country to country. The public health agency continues to recommend all travelers be fully vaccinated before visiting any foreign destination.

With the latest updates, there are now more countries and territories at Level 4 than in all the other CDC categories combined.

Featured image: Laurie Noble/Getty Images.

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