Forest Brown Door | CNN
On Tuesday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added three destinations in Europe — from the frigid northern climate to the sunny south — to its most dangerous travel category.
In its weekly update of its Covid-19 travel advisory, the CDC did not recommend travel to the following countries and put them in the “Level 4: Covid-19 very high” category:
The CDC places a destination at Level 4 when more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents have been recorded in the past 28 days.
Sweden, the famous Scandinavian country, was previously Level 3 and considered “high risk”. It now joins other Scandinavian countries such as Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway at level 4. On Tuesday, Sweden began requiring a negative Covid-19 test result for foreigners regardless of vaccination status.
Malta, my favorite island in the Mediterranean, was also at Level 3 last week.
Off the radar of most tourists, Moldova, located in Eastern Europe, fell into the “unknown” category. The CDC puts destinations in that category when it doesn’t have enough reliable data to make an assessment.
Europe’s constant misery
In another worrying sign of Europe’s Covid-19 situation, the CDC didn’t cut any destinations on that continent last week.
Other big travel names still on CDC level 4 include:
• United kingdom
In fact, the UK has been at Tier 4 since July 19.
However, Europe is not the only continent with popular Tier 4 tourist destinations. Other places that are also considered “very high” travel risks include:
• South Africa
In all, nearly 90 destinations were rated Tier 4 as of December 28. You can check CDC’s risk levels for global destinations on the site’s travel recommendations page.
Level 3 Extra
The Tier 3 category — which applies to destinations with between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days — saw two additions on Tuesday:
Argentina, a favorite South American travel destination that has been very cautious about letting foreign visitors in for most of the pandemic, was previously at Level 2.
The move was good news for the tiny Muslim Sultanate of Brunei, which was at level 4.
Level 2, Level 1 and Unknown
Destinations categorized as “Level 2: Covid-19 average” have seen 50 to 99 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. This level saw three additions on Tuesday:
Cuba, the largest island in the Caribbean, was at level 3. Gabon, on the Atlantic coast of Africa along the equator, and Guatemala in Central America. He was also at level 3,
In the “Level 1: Covid-19 Low” destination category, less than 50 new cases were recorded per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. And saw only one addition – the island country? Sao Tome in Principe off the coast of Gabon.
Finally, there are destinations that, as noted above, have “unknown” risks to the CDC due to a lack of information. Usually these are small and remote places. The CDC on Tuesday added three points to this category:
• French Polynesia
• New Caledonia
The CDC is warning fully vaccinated travelers against going to destinations where there are no reliable statistics on the current status of Covid-19.
In its broader travel advisory, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends avoiding international travel until you have been fully vaccinated.
“Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to contract and spread the Covid-19 virus. However, international travel carries additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers may be at greater risk of contracting and possibly spreading some types of Covid-19.”
Another turbulent week
All of these changes are happening across the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) against the vortex of pandemic news affecting travel around the world:
• Cruises: At least four cruise ships were recently turned away from ports of call or prevented from disembarking passengers in America this week due to cases of Covid-19 on board. Read more here.
• Air travel: Thousands of flights were canceled over the Christmas holiday weekend, in part because workers came into contact with patients with Covid-19. Read more here.
• New Year’s Eve: Shindigs are called large or carved all over the world. New York is hosting a shrinking gathering in Times Square, but London has canceled its big party altogether. Read more here.
• Lifting the travel ban: President Joe Biden issued a presidential proclamation on Tuesday, December 28, reversing an announcement posted last month imposing travel restrictions on eight countries in South Africa, including South Africa, where the Omicron variant had begun to spread. Advertising will be blocked from December 31 ET at 12:01 PM. Read more here.
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