More than half the world’s countries, including Japan, are now on the CDC’s “do not travel” list due to omicron

Feb 12, 2022

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The omicron variant continues to be a global concern. So much so, that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has added seven more countries to its highest-risk category for travel including Japan, Cuba and Israel. The CDC’s Level 4 classification now includes 134 destinations, meaning that more than half the countries in the world are on the agency’s “avoid travel” list. The list has swelled in the past few weeks — just 80 countries were marked as Level 4 in early January.

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Several dozen nations and territories, including several destinations popular with Americans, have been assigned the Level 4 category since the beginning of 2022 over COVID-19 fears. Israel has actually been a Level 4 country since Jan. 18, but was labeled a new addition now because there is new guidance regarding the coronavirus in Gaza and the West Bank.

The latest countries slapped with the Level 4 warning are:

  • Armenia
  • Cuba
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Libya
  • Oman

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

Countries and territories earn the Level 4 classification when 500 or more new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over the past 28 days are reported.

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

The CDC’s four levels of travel recommendations start at “low” risk and rise to “moderate,” “high” and its strongest warning, “very high.” The ratings are designed to help Americans navigate travel during the pandemic as case levels remain in flux from nation to nation. The public health agency recommends all travelers be fully vaccinated before visiting any 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: Jackyenjoyphotography/Getty Images.

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