As travel ramps back up, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is putting travelers on notice as COVID-19 cases continue rising worldwide.
On Monday, the public health agency added nine nations to its list of international destinations with the highest COVID risk, including three popular vacation spots in the Caribbean.
The CDC’s 4-level Travel Health Notice system is updated weekly and alerts travelers to health and safety threats across the globe, according to the agency’s website. Destinations are ranked from “Level 1 risk” to “Level 4 risk” based on reported coronavirus data.
Travelers are strongly advised to hold off travel to countries that fall into the “Level 4” category.
The CDC updated its list on Sept. 13 to include nine more destinations, all of which raised from a Level 3 to Level 4. They are:
Saint Kitts and Nevis
The “CDC uses COVID-19 data reported by the World Health Organization and other official sources to make determinations about [Travel Health Notice] levels,” the health agency’s website states. “If a destination does not provide data, their THN level is designated as ‘unknown’ and travelers are advised to follow THN Level 4 recommendations.”
Based on travel health notice thresholds, countries marked as having “very high” coronavirus risk have reported more than 500 new cases in the last 28 days per 100,000 population. Level 1 countries, or those with low COVID-19 risk, have an incidence rate of fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 people in the same time frame.
The nine destinations join more than 80 countries and territories that the CDC advises against visiting. For the full list, you can visit this site.
The U.S. State Department also updated its list of places travelers should reconsider visiting, upgrading travel risk alerts for 10 countries including Slovenia, Serbia and Saint Kitts & Nevis.
The following countries' Travel Advisories have been raised to or reissued at Level 4 - Do Not Travel:
️Saint Kitts & Nevis
️Israel, The West Bank, Gaza
See advisories: https://t.co/2Uc6RxvvEl pic.twitter.com/imeBBWESTK
— Travel - State Dept (@TravelGov) September 13, 2021
Travel advisories were also reissued for Israel, The West Bank, Gaza, and Guatemala, according to the State Department.
The CDC advises travelers to be fully vaccinated before traveling abroad. Continue social distancing when possible, and wear a mask over the nose and mouth.