(CNN) — For the third week in a row, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, has not added a single new destination to its Tier 4 travel category at higher risk for covid-19.
In fact, seven destinations in Asia and the Caribbean have moved into the CDC’s lowest-risk category for travel during the pandemic, which is Level 1. On Monday, island getaways in the Philippines and St. Kitts and Nevis entered this enviable ranking.
But much of Europe, including its popular travel engines, has remained stubbornly lodged in Level 4 risk, one of the highest.
Take the UK, for example. It has been in level 4 since July 19, 2021. This puts 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 have been more than 500 cases per 100,000 population in the past 28 days.
CDC: avoid travel to Tier 4 destinations
It’s not just the UK. Many of Europe’s biggest names remain on Level 4 travel alert as winter ends and the spring travel season begins. As of April 11, this list included the following locations:
- The Netherlands
However, Europe is not alone in having visited many destinations blocked at level 4 so far.
In Asia, Hong Kong, South Korea and Thailand are at level 4. In South America, Brazil and Chile remain in the highest risk category. The same goes for the lush Central American getaway of Costa Rica. Other favorites awaiting a higher rating from the CDC: Aruba, Australia and Bermuda.
Yet the general trend in the level of risk has been downward across much of the world in recent weeks, with Africa in particular seeing its risk assessments fall.
At the end of February, the number of points at level 4 increased to over 140, illustrating the wide range and rapid spread of the omicron variant. But by April 11, that number had dropped to around 90 destinations. That’s less than half of the approximately 235 locations monitored by the CDC.
The CDC advises avoiding travel to Tier 4 countries. The CDC’s 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 advisory list, but it was color-coded to Level 3 on April 11 on the agency’s travel risk levels map.
You can see the CDC’s risk levels for any global destination on their travel advice page.
In its broader travel advice, the CDC recommended avoiding all international travel until you are fully immunized.
Few changes at level 3
The Level 3 “high” risk category, which applies to destinations that have recorded between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 population in the past 28 days, saw only two additions on Monday:
• San Martin
Both were previously at level 4.
People who want to take a trip to Europe but want to avoid high-risk destinations have only a few options here: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, all located in the Balkan Peninsula, or Armenia, in the Caucasus mountain region.
Travel list of countries in level 2 by covid-19
Destinations with the designation “Level 2: Moderate COVID-19” have recorded 50 to 99 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population in the past 28 days.
The only new Tier 2 entry on April 11 is Guyana, a small nation in northern South America that sees few international visitors. Guyana was at level 3.
In a sign of hope for travelers, Level 1 has seen the most movement.
To be in “Level 1: Low COVID-19”, a destination must have had fewer than 50 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 28 days. Seven places went to level 1 on Monday:
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Saudi Arabia
The largest movements were in Haiti, Myanmar and Saudi Arabia, which were at Level 4. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was at Level 3, with the rest down from Level 2.
The majority of Tier 1 destinations are in Africa, including Ghana, Kenya, Morocco and Senegal.
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 places or places with ongoing wars or riots. The CDC made three additions to the category on Monday:
- Burkina Faso
- Faroe Islands
Burkina Faso was at level 1 and the other two at level 4.
The Azores, Cambodia, Macau, and Tanzania are among the locations currently listed in the unknown category. The CDC advises against travel to these places precisely because the risks are unknown.
An expert assesses risk levels
Transmission rates are “a guide” to personal risk estimates for travelers, according to CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen.
“We are entering a phase of the pandemic where people have to make their own decisions based on their medical situation and risk tolerance when it comes to contracting Covid-19,” Wen said mid- february.
“You have to interpret level 4 to mean it’s a place with a lot of community transmission of Covid-19. So if you go there, there’s a higher chance that you could catch the coronavirus,” said Wen, who is 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, Wen said. “Other people will say, ‘Because I’m vaccinated and boosted, I’m willing to take that risk.’
“So it really has to be a personal decision that people weigh knowing that right now the CDC is categorizing the different tiers based on community transmission rates, and basically just that,” Wen said. circumstances.”
More considerations for traveling during the coronavirus pandemic
There are other factors to consider besides transmission rates, according to Wen.
“Transmission rates are a guide,” Wen said. “Another is what precautions are needed and followed where you are going, and then the third is what you plan to do once you get there.
“Are you planning on visiting a lot of attractions and going to bars inside? It’s very different from going to a place where you plan to lay on the beach all day and not interact with someone else. It’s very different. These are very high risk places. They’re “different” levels.
Vaccination is the most important safety factor for travel, as unvaccinated travelers are more likely to get sick and transmit COVID-19 to others, Wen said.
People should wear a high-quality mask (N95, KN95 or KF94) whenever they’re in closed settings full of people with unknown vaccination status, he said.
And it’s also important to think about what you would do if you became positive outside of your home. Where will you be staying and how easy will it be to get tested to return home?