CDC adds 4 destinations to ‘high’ risk list, including Caribbean charmer

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(CNN) — The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added four destinations to its list of “high” risk destinations for Covid-19, including a small and charming Caribbean nation.

Saint Kitts and Nevis, which is part of the Leeward Islands east of Puerto Rico, was placed in the Tier 3 category on Monday. The destination is known for its beautiful, lush landscapes and cultural experiences.

The Level 3 “high” risk category is now the top tier in terms of risk level. Level 2 is considered “moderate” risk and level 1 is “low” risk.

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.

The category “Tier 3: Covid-19 high” now applies to countries that have recorded more than 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 28 days.

Here’s the full list of newcomers to Tier 3 on Monday:

Guyana
• Mongolia
• Namibia
• Saint Kitts and Nevis

All were previously at level 2.

There were approximately 115 destinations at Level 3 on June 6. Tier 3 locations now make up nearly half of the approximately 235 locations monitored by the CDC.

Level 3

Seville is one of the most popular cities in Spain. Spain, like much of Europe, is still housed in Tier 3.

emperorcosar/Adobe Stock

Many other popular travel destinations are also at Tier 3.

Much of Europe has stubbornly lodged there for months as the summer travel season begins. As of June 6, the following popular European destinations were among those remaining at Tier 3:

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

It’s not just European favorites that end up in Tier 3. Many notable travel destinations around the world fall into the high-risk category, including the following:

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

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

Tourists gather at the archaeological site of Tikal, Guatemala.  The Central American country is now at Tier 2.

Tourists gather at the archaeological site of Tikal, Guatemala. The Central American country is now at Tier 2.

Matyas Rehak/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. Only two places were moved to this level on Monday:

• Guatemala
• Zimbabwe

Home to beautiful Lake Atitlán and Mayan ruins, Guatemala was at Level 3 last week. The decision was bad news for the Zimbabwe safari destination in southern Africa. It was level 1.

There were around 15 destinations listed at Level 2 on June 6.

In its broader travel guidelines, the CDC recommended avoiding all international travel until you are fully immunized.
If you are concerned about a travel-specific health situation not related to Covid-19, check here.

Level 1

Historic houses and boats can be seen in the old port of Byblos, Lebanon, which is on level 1.

Historic houses and boats can be seen in the old port of Byblos, Lebanon, which is on level 1.

Natalia/Adobe Stock

To be at “Level 1: Covid-19 low”, a destination must have registered 49 new cases or less per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 28 days. Only two destinations were added to the category on June 6:

• Iran
• Lebanon

Both Middle Eastern countries were at Level 2 last week.

Unknown

Finally, there are destinations that 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.

Libya was the only location added to this category on June 6.

The CDC advises against travel to these places precisely because the risks are unknown. Destinations in this category include Cambodia, the Canary Islands, Macao and Tanzania.

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. Where will you be staying and how easy will it be to take a test to return home?

Top image: A black sand beach in St. Kitts. (Sergey Kelin/Adobe Stock)

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