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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added two destinations to its “high” category for Covid-19 risk – including a Caribbean nation popular for its beaches.
Representing three continents, the three destinations added to the list on Tuesday are:
• North Macedonia
The CDC overhauled its ratings system for assessing Covid-19 risk for travelers in April.
Level 3, or “high,” is now the top rung in terms of risk level and applies to places that have had more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. Level 2 and Level 1 are considered “moderate” and “low” risk, respectively.
All three new entries to Level 3 on Tuesday had previously been at Level 2.
Sweden, renowned for its culture and natural beauty, is one of just a few European nations to even make it out of the ‘high” risk list since the ratings overhaul. Along with Romania, it moved into the “moderate” risk list on June 21. This week, Romania remains at Level 2.
There were about 115 destinations at Level 3 on July 18. Level 3 locations account for almost half of the roughly 235 places monitored by the CDC.
Level 4, previously the highest risk category, is now reserved only for special circumstances, such as extremely high case counts, emergence of a new variant of concern or health care infrastructure collapse. Under the new system, no destinations have been placed at Level 4 so far.
There were almost 115 destinations at Level 3 on June 27. Level 3 locations account for almost half of the roughly 235 places monitored by the CDC.
More on Level 3
Much of Europe has been stubbornly lodged at Level 3 for months with the summer travel season in full swing. As of June 27, the following popular European destinations were among those remaining at Level 3:
• The Netherlands
• United Kingdom
Those aren’t the only high-profile spots that find themselves at Level 3. Numerous other destinations around the world are among those in the “high” risk category, including the following:
• Costa Rica
• South Korea
The CDC advises that you get up to date with your Covid-19 vaccines before traveling to a Level 3 destination. Being “up to date” means you have had not only the full initial vaccinations but any boosters for which you’re eligible.
Destinations carrying the “Level 2: Covid-19 Moderate” designation reported 50 to 100 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. The CDC moved four places to this level on Monday:
• Saudi Arabia
The move was not good news for the Middle East’s Jordan and Lebanon, which had been at Level 1. For North Macedonia in Europe’s Balkans, the move was in a positive direction, having previously been at Level 3.
There are a total of 21 places in the “moderate” risk category this week.
You can view the CDC’s risk levels for any global destination on the agency’s travel recommendations page.
In its broader travel guidance, the CDC has recommended avoiding all international travel until you are fully vaccinated.
To be listed as “Level 1: Covid-19 Low,” a destination must have had 49 or fewer new cases per 100,000 residents over the past 28 days. No new destinations were added to the category on June 27.
• Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Saba, in the Caribbean, had been at Level 2. Saint Pierre and Miquelon, a French archipelago south of Newfoundland, Canada, had been at Level 3.
A few of the more popular places in the “low” risk category this week include Indonesia, India and the Philippines.