(CNN) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added three popular European nations and an idyllic small island destination to its list of “very high” risk travel destinations on Monday, as a new wave of covid-19 continues to hit much of Europe.
The four destinations that moved to Level 4, the highest risk category, are:
- Czech Republic
With their ornate architecture and rich culture, the Czech Republic and Hungary have been two favorites for Central European travel since the fall of the Iron Curtain in the late 20th century.
Iceland, land of glaciers, geysers and volcanoes, is a great attraction for outdoor adventurers. And charming little Guernsey is an autonomous British Crown dependency on the English Channel, not far off the coast of France.
Level 4: Covid-19 Very high
Destinations that fall into the CDC’s “Covid-19 Very High” level 4 category have had more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.
People should avoid traveling to places designated with a “Level 4” notice, the CDC recommends. Anyone who must travel should be fully vaccinated first, the agency cautions.
Previously, all four destinations had been included in the “High Covid-19” Risk Level 3 category. Upon reaching level 4, they join the ranks of other favorites for travel in Europe and elsewhere. They include:
- US Virgin Islands
In total, more than 70 destinations are currently at Level 4. The UK and the British Virgin Islands have stayed at Level 4 since July 19.
New entries in Level 3
The Tier 3 category, which applies to destinations that have had between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days, had three updates this week.
- Papua New Guinea
The move was really good news for the Bahamas, a tourism-dependent destination, and Papua New Guinea; they had both been to Level 4.
For Bolivia, known for its otherworldly landscapes, the measure indicates an increase in cases, as it was previously at Level 2.
You can see the CDC’s risk levels for global destinations on their travel advice page.
Recommendations before traveling
There are other factors travelers should consider beyond the Covid-19 incidence rates that feature prominently in CDC travel advisories, according to CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen.
“Transmission rates are a guide. Another is what precautions are required and followed where you go and then the third is what you plan to do once you’re there,” said Wen, an emergency physician and politics professor. and health management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.
“Are you planning to visit a lot of attractions and go to covered bars? That’s very different from going somewhere where you plan to be on the beach all day and not interact with anyone else,” said Wen, who is also the author of a new book. , “Lifelines: A Doctor’s Journey in the Fight for Public Health.”
Most importantly, travelers should get vaccinated, he said.
Update on level 2
The CDC moved exotic Morocco from Level 3 to Level 2.
Destinations that carry the designation “Level 2: Moderate Covid-19” have seen 50 to 99 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 28 days.
Keep in mind that the CDC list is updated weekly and that the situation in any country can change for better or for worse from week to week.
Level 1 and no qualification
In the “Level 1: Low Covid-19” destination category, fewer than 50 new cases have been registered for every 100,000 registered residents during the last 28 days.
Six destinations moved to Tier 1 on November 15:
India’s arrival at Level 1 is particularly notable as it was in a terrible crisis with covid-19 this past spring.
Finally, there are destinations that the CDC classifies as “unknown” risk due to lack of information. As of November 15, that list included Madagascar, Cambodia, Nicaragua and Macao.
In its broader travel guide, the CDC has recommended avoiding all international travel until you are fully vaccinated.
“Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to contract and spread COVID-19. However, international travel presents additional risks. And even fully vaccinated travelers may be at higher risk of contracting and possibly spreading some variants of COVID-19.” the agency said.