More countries added to CDC’s highest travel advisory

Aug 3, 2021

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Aug. 2 issued newly updated travel advice for more than a dozen countries.

Several destinations popular with American travelers, including Greece, Ireland, Curaçao and the U.S. Virgin Islands, have been added to the CDC’s highest designation: Level 4: COVID-19 Very High. According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, all have seen an increase in positive COVID-19 cases. The popular Greek island of Mykonos in mid-July banned music across all food and drink outlets in response to a recent surge in COVID-19 cases on the island. Ireland on July 19 began allowing vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers, including Americans, to visit.

The CDC recommends avoiding travel to countries at Level 4, the highest threat level. Countries in that category have had more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the last 28 days. Level 4 countries include nations such as Argentina, Cuba and Brazil.

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The CDC’s threat levels are determined by the number of COVID-19 cases in a given country. The CDC recommends getting vaccinated before visiting any country at any level, but its guidance for unvaccinated travelers varies by how severe the pandemic is in each particular nation.

Several destinations, including French Polynesia, Finland and Puerto Rico, were added to the Level 3 designation. The CDC recommends being fully vaccinated before traveling to these destinations and says that unvaccinated travelers “should avoid nonessential travel.”

Notably, several countries, such as Iceland and Mauritius, were moved from the lowest Level 1 designation to Level 3.

Level 1 countries like Australia and New Zealand are considered the lowest-risk destinations because they have reported less than 50 COVID-19 cases in the last 28 days. The CDC still recommends getting vaccinated before traveling to any location at Level 1. Other countries currently at the Level 1 destination include Ghana, Singapore and Turks & Caicos.

The U.S. State Department has its own travel advisory risk system, ranging from Level 1 to Level 4. You can see this information in list format or on a color-coded map. However, travel guidance from the State Department isn’t always 100% in sync with the CDC, as it considers other factors aside from health-related risks.

Featured photo by Oleksii Khodkivskiy/Unsplash

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