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More countries added to CDC's highest travel advisory

Aug. 03, 2021
3 min read
More countries added to CDC's highest travel advisory
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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."

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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 image by Athens, Greece. (Photo by Oleksii Khodkivskiy/Unsplash)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

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  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
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Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
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  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.