CDC adds five new destinations to ‘high’ risk category of travel, including the Bahamas

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(CNN) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added five new destinations to its “high-risk” category of travelers on Monday.

The Central American nation of Belize, the Bahamas in the North Atlantic, the mountainous British overseas territory of Montserrat, the Caribbean island nation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and the South African country of Eswatini have been moved to Level 3, or “high risk for Covid-19.

Four of the destinations were previously listed as Level 2, “moderate” risk: Bahamas, Belize, Eswatini and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Montserrat raised two levels of risk from Tier 1 or the ‘Low’ risk level.

The “High” level 3 risk category is now the first in terms of the level of risk. Level 2 is considered “moderate” risk, and level 1 is considered “low” risk.

Level 4, previously the highest risk category, is now reserved only for special circumstances, such as an extremely high case number, the emergence of a new worrying variable or a collapse in healthcare infrastructure. Under the new system, no destination has been placed at level 4 yet.

In total, the CDC climbed five destinations to its “high risk” column on Monday:

Bahamas
Belize
• Eswatini
• Montserrat
• Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Overall, the past four weeks of advice have seen little in the way of the dramatic shifts in mode that characterized last winter and early spring during the rush of the original Omicron variant.

3 . level

The ‘Level 3: Covid-19 High’ category now applies to countries with more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.

Much of Europe has been stubbornly sheltered there as the summer travel season approaches ever. As of May 23, The following popular European destinations were among those that remained at Level 3:

• France
• Germany
• Greece
• Ireland
• Italia
• Holland
• Portugal
• Spain
• United kingdom

It is not only the European favorite that finds itself at level 3. Several notable travel destinations around the world are among those in the high-risk category, Including the following:

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

There were about 115 destinations in Level 3 on May 23. Level 3 sites now account for nearly half of the approximately 235 places the CDC is monitoring.

The CDC advises that you get your latest Covid-19 vaccinations before traveling to a Tier 3 destination. Being “up-to-date” means that you not only get your full initial vaccinations but also any boosters for which you are eligible.

Kuwaiti buildings light up in the colors of the national flag on February 20, 2021. Kuwait is now a “moderate” risk for Covid-19.

Yasser El-Zayat/AFP via Getty Images

Level 2

Destinations rated “Level 2: Moderate Covid-19” have reported 50 to 100 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. Three places moved to this level on Monday:

• Jamaica
• Kuwait
• Mongolia

This was good news for Kuwait, which has pulled back from Level 3. Jamaica and Mongolia are up one risk level from Level 1 or “low” risk level. Less than 20 places were listed at Level 2 on Monday.

In its broader travel advisory, the CDC has recommended that you avoid international travel until you’ve been fully vaccinated.
If you are concerned about a travel health condition not related to Covid-19, check here.

Level 1

To be at ‘Level 1: Covid-19 Low’, a destination must have had 49 or fewer new cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. Only one destination was added to the category on May 23: Egypt.

Egypt is listed as “unknown”.

Level 1 contained approximately 55 entries as of Monday.

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Finally, there are destinations that the CDC has deemed to have “unknown” risks due to a lack of information. Usually, but not always, these are small, remote places or places with constant war or unrest.

There was only one addition to this category on Monday: Mauritaniawhich was previously at level 1.

The CDC advises against travel to these places specifically because the risks are unknown. Among others in this category are French Polynesia and the AzoresAnd Cambodia and Tanzania.

Medical expert weighs in risk levels

Commuting rates are just “one guide” to travelers’ personal risk calculations, according to CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen.

We have moved to “a stage in the pandemic where people need to make their own decisions based on their medical conditions as well as their own risk tolerance when it comes to contracting Covid-19,” said Wayne, an emergency physician and university professor. Health Policy and Management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.

Wen said there are other factors that should be weighed in addition to transmission rates.

“The other is what precautions are required and which are followed where you are going, and the third is what you plan to do once you get there.

“Do you plan to visit a lot of attractions and go to indoor bars? This is very different from going somewhere where you plan to lie on the beach all day and not interact with anyone else. This is completely different. These are very different levels of risk.”

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

It’s also important to think about what you’ll do if you end up testing positive away from home. Where would you stay and how easy would it be to take a test back home?

Top photo: Eleuthera, Bahamas (CNN)

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