CDC adds 6 destinations to ‘high’ risk travel category

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(CNN) — The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added six destinations to the “high” risk travel category on Monday.

Two countries in Central America, El Salvador and Honduras, have received Level 3 “high” risk. Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland and Fiji have also been added to Tier 3.

Tier 3 became the highest tier in terms of risk level in April after the CDC overhauled its rating system for assessing travelers’ Covid-19 risk.

The designation applies to places where more than 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants have been reported in the last 28 days. Tier 2 and Tier 1 are considered “moderate” and “low” risk, respectively.

Recall that these six destinations were given a “high” risk level on Monday:

• Bangladesh
Bosnia and Herzegovina
• El Salvador
• Fiji
• Honduras
• Poland

There were over 120 destinations at level 3 on 25 July. Locations at level 3 make up about half of the approximately 235 locations controlled by the CDC.

Tier 4, previously the highest risk category, is now reserved for special circumstances only, such as an extremely high number of cases, the emergence of a new option of concern, or the collapse of the healthcare infrastructure. So far, under the new system, no destination has been placed at level 4.

More about level 3

Most of Europe stubbornly stays at level 3 for several months when the summer tourist season is in full swing. As of July 25, the following popular European destinations remained at level 3:

• France
• Germany
• Greece
• Ireland
• Italy
• Netherlands
• Norway
• Portugal
• Spain
• United Kingdom

These are not the only known destinations to score Level 3. Many other destinations around the world are in the “high” risk category, including the following:

• Brazil
• Canada
• Costa Rica
• Malaysia
• Mexico
• South Korea
• Thailand
• Turkey

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises you to update your Covid-19 vaccines before traveling to a Tier 3 destination. “in a timely manner” means that you have received not only full initial immunizations, but also all booster immunizations to which you are entitled.

Level 2

The Philippines, which depicts Coron Island, moved to “moderate” risk on Monday.

Nguyen Duy Phuong/Adobe Stock

Destinations labeled “Level 2: Moderate Covid-19” have reported 50-100 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 28 days. The CDC identified five new Tier 2 locations on Monday:

• Equatorial Guinea
• India
• Moldova
• Philippines
• Go

The move was bad news for all five locations that moved up from Tier 1. Fewer than 20 spots remain in the “moderate” risk category this week.

In his a wider travel guideThe CDC recommends updating your vaccines before traveling abroad.

1st level

To qualify for the “Level 1: Low Covid-19” list, the destination must have 49 or fewer new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 28 days. On July 25, two new places were added to the category: Angola as well as Comoros.

This week there are more than 30 places in the “low” risk category.

A few of the most popular destinations in the “low” risk category this week include Indonesia and Tanzania.

Unknown

Finally, there are destinations that the CDC considers an “unknown” risk due to a lack of information. Usually, but not always, these are small, remote places, or places with incessant wars or unrest. Two new places added this week: Dominica as well as Ethiopia.

The CDC advises against traveling to these places precisely because the risks are unknown. Other destinations in this category that tend to attract more tourist attention include French Polynesia, Hungary, Macau and the Maldives.

There are about 65 places on the “unknown” list this week.

Medical expert weighs risk levels

According to CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen, transmission rates are just a “benchmark” for travelers’ personal risk calculations.

We have moved into a “pandemic phase where people have to make their own decisions based on their medical circumstances as well as their risk tolerance when it comes to contracting Covid-19,” said Wen, an emergency physician and professor. health policy and management at the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health.

There are other factors to consider besides transfer speed, Wen says.

“The other is what precautions are needed and followed where you are going, and the third is what you plan to do when you get there,” she said.

“Are you planning to visit a lot of sights and visit indoor bars? It’s very different from going somewhere where you plan to lie on the beach all day and not talk to anyone else. It’s very different. very different levels of risk.”

Vaccination is the most important travel safety factor, Wen said, as unvaccinated travelers are more likely to get sick and pass Covid-19 on to others.

And it’s also important to think about what you’ll do if you end up testing positive away from home.

While travelers bound for the US no longer need to test negative for Covid-19 to return home from international destinations, the CDC continues to recommend testing before boarding a flight back to the States and not traveling if you are sick .
“Of course, if people have symptoms or exposure while traveling, they need to get tested and, if positive, follow them. CDC Isolation Guidelines,” Wen recently told CNN Travel.
If you are concerned about a health situation while traveling that is not related to Covid-19, check here.

Top image: Roatan Island, Honduras (Philippe Turpin/Photononstop RF/Getty Images)

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