Much of Europe remains at CDC’s highest travel risk due to improvements in other areas

By Forrest Brown and Marnie Hunter | CNN

For the third week in a row, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not add a single new destination to its highest-risk Level 4 category for travel.

In fact, seven destinations in Asia and the Caribbean moved into the CDC’s lowest-risk category for travel during the pandemic, which is Level 1. Moving up in that enviable ranking on Monday were island getaways. Philippines And Saint Kitts and Nevis,

But much of Europe – including its popular travel powerhouse – remained stubbornly at Level 4.

Take the United Kingdom for example. It is at level 4 since July 19, 2021. This places England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the “very high” risk category for COVID-19.

The CDC designates a destination as a Level 4 risk when there are more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents. Stayed Registered in the last 28 days.

The Hapney Bridge is a signature symbol of Dublin, Ireland. Like almost all of Europe, Ireland is at level 4 of the CDC. (Shutterstock via CNN)

CDC: Avoid Level 4 Destinations

It is not just the United Kingdom. Many big names in Europe remain on Level 4 as the winter lifts and the spring travel season begins. As of 11 April, that list included the following places:

• France
• Germany
• Greece
• Ireland
• Italy
• Malta
• Netherlands
• Portugal
• Spain

However, it is not only Europe that has made the most of the highly visited destinations at level 4 for now.

In Asia, Hong Kong, South Korea and Thailand are at level 4. In South America, Brazil and Chile are still in the highest risk category. The same goes for the lush Central American getaway to Costa Rica. Other favorites waiting to be graded better than CDC: Aruba, Australia and Bermuda.

Nevertheless, the general trend in risk levels in most parts of the world in recent weeks has been a downward trend, and Africa in particular has seen its risk assessments fall.

At the end of February, the number of spots in Level 4 exceeded 140, indicating Omicron’s huge range and rapid spread. But on April 11, that number came down to around 90 destinations. That’s less than half of the CDC monitors’ roughly 235 locations.

The CDC recommends avoiding travel to Level 4 countries. CDC thresholds for travel health notices are primarily based on the number of COVID-19 cases in a destination.

The CDC does not include the United States on its list of advisories, but it was color-coded to Level 3 on April 11 by the agency. map of travel risk levels,

You can view CDC’s risk levels for any global destination. travel recommendation page,

In its comprehensive travel guideThe CDC recommends that you avoid all international travel until you have been fully vaccinated.

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A view of the Old Town at the Red Sea coastal resort Sharm El Sheikh. Egypt was ranked level 3 by the CDC on Monday. (Okla Michal/CTK/AP)

Some changes in level 3

The Level 3 “high” risk category – which applies to destinations that had 100 to 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days – saw only two additions on Monday. They were:

• Egypt
• Saint Martin

Both were earlier at level 4.

Those who want to travel to Europe but avoid the highest-risk destinations have only a few options here: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo, all on the Balkan Peninsula, or Armenia, in the mountainous Caucasus region.

level 2

Destinations with the designation “Level 2: COVID-19 Moderate” have seen 50 to 99 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.

The only new entry in Level 2 is April 11th. Guyana, a small nation in the northern part of South America that sees little in the way of international visitors. Guyana was in the third tier.

level 1

In an optimistic sign for commuters, Level 1 saw the most movement.

To be in “Level 1: COVID-19 low”, a destination must have less than 50 new cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. Seven places moved to Level 1 on Monday:

• Bangladesh
• Haiti
• Myanmar
• Philippines
• Saint Kitts and Nevis
• Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
• Saudi Arab

The biggest moves were from Haiti, Myanmar and Saudi Arabia, which were at level 4. St. Vincent and the Grenadines were at level 3, and the rest went below level 2.

Most of the destinations in Level 1 are in Africa, including Ghana, Kenya, Morocco and Senegal.

Unknown

Finally, there are destinations for which the CDC has an “unknown” risk due to a lack of information. Usually, but not always, these are small, remote locations or places where there is ongoing war or unrest. The CDC made three additions to the category on Monday:

• Burkina Faso
• Faroe Islands
• Madagascar

Burkina Faso was at level 1 and the other two were at level 4.

The Azores, Cambodia, Macau and Tanzania are among the places currently listed in the Unknown category. The CDC advises against traveling to these places because the risks are unknown.

A medical expert weighs in on the level of risk

CNN Medical Analyst Dr. According to Lena Wayne, transmission rates are “a guidepost” for travelers’ personal risk calculations.

Wen said in mid-February, “We are entering a phase of the pandemic where people need to make their own decisions based on their medical conditions as well as their risk tolerance for contracting COVID-19. is.”

“You should interpret Level 4 as meaning it is a place with a lot of community transmission of Covid-19. So if you go, there’s a higher chance that you could contract the coronavirus,” said Wayne, an emergency physician and professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.

Some people will decide the risk is too high for them, Wayne said. “Others will say, ‘Because I’ve been vaccinated and raised, I’m prepared to take that risk.’

“So it really needs to be a personal decision that people understand that right now the CDC is classifying different levels based on community transmission rates, and that’s basically just that,” Wayne said. “They are not taking personal circumstances into account.”

more travel ideas

According to Wayne, there are other factors to weigh in addition to transmission rates.

“Transmission rates are a guidepost,” Wayne said. “One more thing is the place where you are going needs to be done and precautions are taken and then the third one is what you are planning to do once you reach there.

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