CDC: Much of Europe remains at highest travel risk for Covid

(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 Tier 4 highest-risk category of travel.

In fact, seven destinations in Asia and the Caribbean moved into the CDC’s lowest risk category for Traveling during the pandemic, which is Level 1. Moving into this enviable arrangement on Monday was an island getaway Filipinos And Saint Kitts and Nevis.

But much of Europe – including popular travel hubs – has held steady at level 4.

Take the United Kingdom, for example. It has been at level 4 since July 19, 2021. This puts England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all in the “very high” risk category for Covid-19.

The CDC defines a Tier 4 risk destination when there are more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents It has been Signed up in the last 28 days.

CDC: Avoid Tier 4 Destinations

The Ha’penny Bridge is an iconic symbol of Dublin, Ireland. Like nearly all of Europe, Ireland is located at level 4 in the CDC.

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It’s not just the UK. Many of Europe’s big names remain at Level 4 as the winter lifts begin and the spring travel season begins. On April 11, that list included the following places:

• France
• Germany
• Greece
• Ireland
• Italia
• Malta
• Holland
• Portugal
• Spain

However, it is not only Europe that has high visits to tier 4 stuck destinations at the moment.

In Asia, Hong Kong, South Korea and Thailand it is at level 4. In South America, Brazil and Chile remain in the highest risk category. The same goes for Costa Rica’s fertile getaway in Central America. Other favorites awaiting a better score from the CDC: Aruba, Australia and Bermuda.

However, the general trend in the level of risk has been declining in most parts of the world in recent weeks, and Africa in particular has seen its risk assessments decline.

In late February, the number of points in Level 4 swelled to more than 140, illustrating the wide range and rapid spread of Omicron. But on April 11, that number shrank to nearly 90 destinations. That’s less than half of the roughly 235 places the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention monitors.

The CDC advises avoiding travel to Tier 4 countries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) thresholds for health travel notices are primarily based on the number of Covid-19 cases at the destination.

The CDC does not list the United States on its advisory list, but it is color-coded as Level 3 on April 11 on the agency’s map of travel risk levels.
In its broader travel advisory, the CDC has recommended that you avoid international travel until you’ve been fully vaccinated.

Few changes to level 3

A view of the old city in the coastal resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on the Red Sea.  Egypt was placed at level 3 by the CDC on Monday.

A view of the old city in the coastal resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on the Red Sea. Egypt was placed at level 3 by the CDC on Monday.

Okla Michal / CTK / AP

The “high” level 3 risk category – which applies to destinations with between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days – saw only two additions on Monday. she was:

• Egypt
• Saint Martin

Both were previously level 4.

People who want to take a trip to Europe but want to avoid the more dangerous 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 rated “Level 2: Moderate Covid-19” have seen 50 to 99 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.

The only new entry to Level 2 on April 11th is Guyana, a small nation in the northern part of South America that sees little in the way of international visitors. Guyana was at level 3.

Level 1

Pinagbuyutan Island is just one representative of the many amazing ocean spots in the Philippines.  Travelers looking for a destination along

Pinagbuyutan Island is just one representative of the many amazing ocean spots in the Philippines. Travelers looking for a destination with a “low” risk rating from the CDC are available here, although the ranking changes weekly.

Igor Tishino / Adobe Stock

In a hopeful sign for travelers, Level 1 saw the most movement.

To be at ‘Level 1: Covid-19 Low’, a destination must have had fewer than 50 new cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. Seven places were moved to Level 1 on Monday:

• Bangladesh
• Haiti
• Myanmar
• Filipino
• Saint Kitts and Nevis
• Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
• Kingdom Saudi Arabia

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

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

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Finally, there are destinations where the CDC faces “unknown” risks due to a lack of information. Usually, but not always, these are small, remote places or places with constant war or unrest. The CDC made three additions to the category on Monday:

• Burkina Faso
• Faroe Islands
• Madagascar

Burkina Faso was at level 1, the other two at level 4.

The Azores, Cambodia, Macau, and Tanzania are among the locations currently included in the unknown category. The CDC advises against travel to these places specifically because the risks are unknown.

Medical expert weighs in risk levels

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

“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 when it comes to contracting Covid-19,” Wen said in mid-February.

said Wayne, an emergency physician and emergency physician professor of health policy and management at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health.

Wen said some people will decide the risk is too high for them. “Other people will say, ‘Because I’ve been vaccinated and boosted, I’m willing to take that risk.'”

“So this should be a personal decision that people weigh in understanding that the CDC at the moment is categorizing different levels based on rates of community transmission, and that’s basically just that,” Wen said. “They don’t take into account individual circumstances.”

More considerations for travel

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

“The transmission rates of the virus are one indicative sign,” Wen said. “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.

She said people should wear a high-quality mask – N95, KN95 or KF94 – anytime they are in crowded indoor spaces with unknown people in the event of a vaccination.

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: The beach at Carvoeiro on Portugal’s Algarve Coast. (Ines / Adobe Stock)

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