CDC adds 6 places to its ‘high’ risk category for travel, including 2 Central American countries

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

Two Central American countries – El Salvador and Honduras – have been given a Tier 3, “high” risk designation. Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland and Fiji have also been added to Tier 3.

Level 3 became the first rung in terms of risk level in April after the CDC revised its rating system for assessing the risk of Covid-19 for travelers.

The designation applies to places that have had more than 100 cases per 100,000 population in the past 28 days. Levels 2 and 1 are considered “moderate” and “low” risk respectively.

To recap, these six destinations received “high” risk designations on Monday:

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

There were over 120 destinations at level 3 on July 25. Level 3 sites represent about half of the approximately 235 sites monitored by the CDC.

Level 4, previously the highest risk category, is now reserved only for special circumstances, such as an extremely high number of cases, the emergence of a new variant of concern or the collapse of healthcare infrastructures. health. Under the new system, no destinations have been placed at Tier 4 so far.

Learn more about level 3

Much of Europe has been stubbornly lodged in Level 3 for months with the summer travel season in full swing. As of July 25, the following popular European destinations were among those remaining at Tier 3:

• France
• Germany
• Greece
• Ireland
• Italy
• The Netherlands
• Norway
• Portugal
• Spain
• UK

These aren’t the only high-profile locations that fall into Level 3. Many other destinations around the world fall into the “high” risk category, including:

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

The CDC advises that you get up to date with your Covid-19 vaccines before traveling to a Tier 3 destination. are eligible.

Level 2

The Philippines, with the island of Coron pictured, moved to “moderate” risk on Monday.

Nguyen Duy Phuong/Adobe Stock

Destinations with the designation “Level 2: Moderate Covid-19” have reported 50 to 100 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 population in the past 28 days. The CDC designated five new Tier 2 seats on Monday:

• Equatorial Guinea
• India
• Moldova
• Philippines
• Go

The decision was bad news for the five places, which moved from Tier 1. There are less than 20 places in the “moderate” risk category this week.

In its broader travel advice, the CDC recommends being up to date with your vaccines before traveling abroad.

Level 1

To be listed as “Tier 1: Covid-19 Low”, a destination must have recorded 49 or fewer new cases per 100,000 population in the past 28 days. Two new slots were added to the category on July 25: Angola and Comoros.

There are more than 30 places in the “low” risk category this week.

Among the most popular places in the “low” risk category this week are Indonesia and Tanzania.


Finally, there are the destinations the CDC has deemed “unknown” risk due to a lack of information. Usually, but not always, these are small, remote places or places where war or unrest is going on. Two places have been added this week: Dominica and Ethiopia.

The CDC advises against travel to these places precisely because the risks are unknown. Other destinations in this category that generally attract more attention from tourists include French Polynesia, Hungary, Macao and the Maldives.

There are nearly 65 locations listed as “unknown” this week.

Medical expert weighs in on risk levels

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

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

There are other factors to weigh in addition to transmission rates, according to Wen.

“Another is what precautions are needed and followed where you are going, and then the third is what you plan to do once there,” she said.

“Are you planning on visiting a lot of attractions and going to indoor bars? It’s very different from going somewhere where you plan to lay on the beach all day and not interact with anyone outside. “other. It’s very different. It’s very different levels of risk.”

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.

And it’s also important to think about what you would do if you became positive outside of your home.

While travelers to the United States no longer need to present a negative Covid-19 test to return home from international destinations, the CDC still advises getting tested before boarding return flights to the United States. United States and not to travel if you are sick.
“Of course, if people have symptoms or are exposed while traveling, they should get tested and, if positive, follow CDC’s isolation guidelines,” Wen told CNN Travel recently.
If you are concerned about a travel-specific health situation not related to Covid-19, check here.

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

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