CDC adds 2 destinations to its “high” risk category for travel

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(CNN) — A popular Middle Eastern destination and a small Dutch Caribbean island were added to the CDC’s “high” risk category for travel on Monday.

Jordan and Sint Eustatius were the only two additions to Tier 3, “high” risk category.

Jordan houses relics from many of the world’s great civilizations and a recently recognized UNESCO site. Also called Statia, Sint Eustatius is just 6 miles (10 km) long and up to 3 miles (5 km) wide, and the island is dominated by Quill, a dormant volcano.

Level 3 locations account for more than half of the approximately 235 locations monitored by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Level 3 became the highest rung in terms of risk level in April after the CDC reviewed your grading system to assess the risk of Covid-19 for travellers.

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

In short, these two destinations were added to Tier 3 on August 8:

• Jordan
• Sint Eustatius

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

A view of the volcanic Caribbean island of Sint Eustatius as seen from St Kitts.  Sint Eustatius is now at level 3,

A view of the volcanic Caribbean island of Sint Eustatius as seen from St Kitts. Sint Eustatius is now at Level 3, “high” risk of Covid.

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More about level 3

Much of Europe has been stubbornly staying in Tier 3 for months with the summer travel season now in a traditionally busy August. The following popular European destinations were among those remaining in Tier 3 as of August 8:

• France
• Germany
• Greece
• Ireland
• Italy
• The Netherlands
• Norway
• Portugal
• Spain
• United Kingdom

Those aren’t the only high-profile locations that are in Tier 3. Many other destinations around the world are among those in the “high” risk category, including the following:

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

The CDC recommends that you get up-to-date on your Covid-19 vaccinations before traveling to a Tier 3 destination. “Up to date” it means you have received not only your initial full vaccinations, but also any boosters for which you are eligible.
Senegal, pictured with the Ngor area of ​​Dakar, moved to Tier 2 on Monday.

Senegal, pictured with the Ngor area of ​​Dakar, moved to Tier 2 on Monday.


Level 2

Destinations carrying the “Level 2: Moderate Covid-19” designation reported 50 to 100 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. The CDC designated three new Tier 2 locations on Monday:

• Azerbaijan
• Kyrgyzstan

The move was bad news for the three locations, which were previously listed at Tier 1. There are 20 locations listed at Tier 2 this week.

In its larger travel guidethe CDC recommends being up to date on your vaccinations before traveling internationally.

Level 1

To be listed as “Tier 1: Low Covid-19,” a destination must have had 49 or fewer new cases per 100,000 residents in the last 28 days. Two places were added to the category on August 8:

• Suriname
• Zimbabwe

Both destinations moved to a lower risk level. Suriname was previously listed in Tier 3 and Zimbabwe was previously listed in Tier 2.

There are about 25 places in the “low” risk category this week. A couple of the hottest spots in the “low” risk category this week include Egypt and Tanzania.


Finally, there are the destinations that the CDC has deemed to be of “unknown” risk due to a lack of information. Usually, but not always, these are small, remote places or places with ongoing wars or riots.

Only one destination was added this week: Malawi.

The CDC advises against traveling to these places precisely because the risks are unknown. Other destinations in this category that usually attract more attention from tourists are the Azores, Hungary and the Maldives.

There are about 65 places listed as “unknown” this week, representing more than a quarter of all places monitored.

A medical expert assesses risk levels

Transmission rates are just “a guideline” for estimates of personal risk for travelers, according to Dr. Leana Wen, a CNN medical analyst.

We’ve moved into “a phase of the pandemic where people have to make their own decisions based on their medical circumstances as well as their risk tolerance when it comes to contracting Covid-19,” said Wen, 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 consider besides transmission rates, according to Wen.

“Another is what precautions are required and followed in the place you are going and then the third is what you plan to do once you are there,” he said.

“Do you plan to visit a lot of attractions and go to bars indoors? That’s very different from going to a place where you plan to lay on the beach all day and not interact with anyone else. That’s very different. Those are very risky levels.” different”.

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

And it’s also important to consider what you would do if you end up testing positive away from home.

While travelers to the US you no longer have to present a negative Covid-19 test to return home from international destinations, the CDC still recommends testing before boarding flights back to the United States and not traveling if you are sick.
“Of course, if people have symptoms or exposure while traveling, they should get tested, and if they are positive, continue to CDC Isolation GuidelinesWen told CNN Travel recently.
If you are concerned about a specific travel health situation unrelated to Covid-19, check here.

Top Image: The Al-Khazneh temple is seen in the ancient city of Petra, Jordan. (Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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