(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 Saint Eustatius were the only two additions to Level 3, “high” risk category.
Jordan is home to remnants of many of the world’s great civilizations and a newly recognized UNESCO site. Also called Statia, Sint Eustatius is only 10 km long and up to 5 km wide, and the island is dominated by the Quill, a dormant volcano.
Level 3 sites represent more than half of the approximately 235 sites monitored by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Level 3 became the first rung in terms of risk level in April after the CDC revised its rating system for assessing the risk of Covid-19 for travelers.
The designation applies to places that have had more than 100 cases per 100,000 population in the past 28 days. Levels 2 and 1 are considered “moderate” and “low” risk respectively.
As a reminder, these two destinations were added to level 3 on August 8:
• Saint Eustache
Level 4, previously the highest risk category, is now reserved only for special circumstances, such as an extremely high number of cases, the emergence of a new variant of concern or the collapse of healthcare infrastructure. health. Under the new system, no destinations have been placed at Tier 4 so far.
Learn more about level 3
Much of Europe has been stubbornly lodged in Tier 3 for months, with the summer travel season now taking place in a traditionally busy August. The following popular European destinations were among those remaining in Tier 3 as of August 8:
• The Netherlands
Italy during Covid-19: what you need to know before you go
These aren’t the only high-profile locations that fall into Level 3. Many other destinations around the world fall into the “high” risk category, including:
• South Korea
The CDC advises that you get up to date with your Covid-19 vaccines before traveling to a Tier 3 destination. are eligible.
Destinations with the designation “Level 2: Moderate Covid-19” have reported 50 to 100 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 population in the past 28 days. The CDC designated three new Tier 2 seats on Monday:
The move was bad news for all three locations, which were all previously listed at Tier 1. There are 20 locations listed at Tier 2 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 advice, the CDC recommends being up to date with your vaccines before traveling abroad.
To be listed as “Tier 1: Covid-19 Low”, a destination must have recorded 49 or fewer new cases per 100,000 population in the past 28 days. Two slots were added to the category on August 8:
Both destinations have moved to a lower risk level. Suriname was previously listed at Tier 3 and Zimbabwe at Tier 2.
There are about 25 places in the “low” risk category this week. Among the most popular places in the “low” risk category this week are Egypt and Tanzania.
Finally, there are the destinations the CDC has deemed “unknown” risk due to a lack of information. Usually, but not always, these are small, remote places or places where war or unrest is going on.
Only one destination has been added this week: Malawi.
The CDC advises against travel 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 around 65 locations listed as “unknown” this week, representing more than a quarter of all locations monitored.
Medical expert weighs in on risk levels
Transmission rates are just a “benchmark” for travelers’ personal risk calculations, according to CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen.
We have entered “a phase of the pandemic where people have to make their own decisions based on their medical situation as well as their risk tolerance when it comes to contracting Covid-19,” said Wen, who is 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 weigh in addition to transmission rates, according to Wen.
“Another is what precautions are needed and followed where you are going, and then the third is what you plan to do once you get there,” she said.
“Do you plan on visiting a lot of attractions and going to indoor bars? It’s very different from going somewhere where you plan to lay on the beach all day and not interact with anyone outside. It’s very different. They’re very different levels of risk.
Vaccination is the most important safety factor for travel, as unvaccinated travelers are more likely to get sick and transmit Covid-19 to others, Wen said.
And it’s also important to think about what you would do if you became positive outside of your home.
While travelers to the United States no longer have to present a negative Covid-19 test to return home from international destinations, the CDC still advises getting tested before boarding flights back to the States. States and not to travel if you are sick.
“Of course, if people have symptoms or are exposed while traveling, they should get tested and, if positive, follow CDC’s isolation guidelines,” Wen told CNN Travel recently.
If you are concerned about a travel-specific health situation not related to Covid-19, check here.
Top image: The Temple of Al-Khazneh is seen in the ancient city of Petra, Jordan. (Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)