4 New Countries Get ‘Avoid Travel’ Warning Due To Covid-19

The Netherlands was one of four countries that just landed on the CDC’s ‘Avoid Travel’ list. getty Even as the United States lifts its international travel ban for vaccinated visitors, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to monitor the Covid-19 risk in destinations around the world and issue […]

Even as the United States lifts its international travel ban for vaccinated visitors, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to monitor the Covid-19 risk in destinations around the world and issue guidance for American travelers.

Travelers paying attention to the agency’s roster of travel health notices over the past few weeks will see a pattern that reflects where Covid cases are still rising around the world.

Yesterday, the agency once again expanded its list of destinations under Level 4 travel health notices, adding four new countries: the Cayman Islands, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the Faroe Islands. The previous week, additions to the Level 4 list included Belgium, Slovakia, Russia and the African nation of Burkina Faso. The week before that, Ukraine was added.

The highest of four risk categories, a Level 4 travel health notice signifies that a country is reporting more than 500 new Covid-19 infections per 28 days per 100,000 people. That level of infection is deemed to present a “very high” Covid-19 risk and Americans are warned to “avoid travel,” per CDC guidance.

MORE FROM FORBESAs It Lifts The International Travel Ban, U.S. Still Meets Criteria For CDC’s Level 4 ‘Avoid Travel’ List

The Covid-19 pandemic is not over, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), whose latest weekly epidemiological update tallied just over 3 million new cases around the world, which is an upward trend from the previous week. 

Viewed through that wide lens, it’s perhaps unsurprising that, as of today, 80 countries around the world are at Level 4 on the CDC’s Covid risk map.

Covid is on the Rise in Europe

In recent weeks, Europe in particular has struggled to tamp down coronavirus cases, with a 6% increase in new weekly cases and a 12% spike in Covid-related deaths as compared to the previous week, per the WHO report.

The European region is seeing Covid infection cases similar to those reported in December 2020. Out of the 61 countries in the region, 25 (41%) reported week-over-week increases.

The more than two dozen European destinations currently under a Level 4 travel health notice include tourism powerhouses such as Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Covid is Still Cruising in the Caribbean

As temperatures in the U.S. drop and tourists eye tropical climes, the Caribbean contains a concentration of countries still reporting a high number of new Covid cases. The most recent WHO report noted a 145% week-over-week jump in new Covid cases in the Cayman Islands and a 21% increase in Puerto Rico.

More than a dozen other Caribbean nations carry the CDC’s “avoid travel” warning, including Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda and both the British and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Covid Cases are Dropping in Africa

Africa’s Covid numbers, in decline since mid-July, continues on a downward trajectory, with a 9% drop in cases and a 13% drop in deaths compared to the previous week, per the WHO report. In particular, South Africa reported week-over-week 19% drop in new cases.

Of the half-dozen African countries with a CDC Level 4 warning, only Botswana is a major tourism draw for Americans.

Covid Cases are Falling in Asia

When it comes to reopening to international tourism, the Asia-Pacific region has been among the slowest and most careful in the world. Last month, however, several Asian nations announced plans to crack open the door to tourists.

The Southeast Asia region reported a 9% drop in new Covid cases compared to the previous week, according to the WHO report. Notably, there were promising drops in India (down 9%), Thailand (down 8%), and Myanmar (down 9%).

Only a handful of Asian countries have the CDC’s Level 4 designation, including Singapore, Malaysia, Burma and the Maldives.

Covid Cases are Persistent in the United States

Ironically, the United States itself has been shaded dark red on the CDC’s world map for much of the pandemic. In the Americas region, the latest WHO report reveals that the highest number of new cases continue to come from the U.S. (up 7% week over week) and Brazil (flat), while Mexico saw 6% week-over-week decrease.

While the U.S. is recording roughly 35% fewer new daily infections as it was a year ago, according to the Covid-19 tracker from the Brown School of Public Health, the number of new infections remains troubling, especially in the Mountain West and Midwest regions of the country. The U.S. is reporting an average of more than 616 new daily cases per 28 days per 100,000 people, well over the CDC’s threshold for Level 4 travel health notice.


Dong Anker

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