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CDC adds 3 places to ‘high’ risk list, including Mexico and United Arab Emirates

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(CNN) — The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday classified three new destinations in its “high” risk category for Covid-19, including a North American travel giant.

The Level 3 “high” risk category is now the top tier in terms of risk level. Level 2 is considered a “moderate” risk. Level 1 corresponds to a “low” risk.

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 infrastructures. health. Under the new system, no destinations have been placed at Tier 4 so far.

The category “Level 3: Covid-19 High” now applies to countries that have recorded more than 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 28 days.

The three locations joining Tier 3 this week are:

• Mexico
• New Caledonia
• United Arab Emirates

Mexico, a favorite destination for American tourists, and the United Arab Emirates, the Middle East hotspot, were at Level 2 last week.

New Caledonia, renowned among divers, was previously listed in the unknown category, meaning the CDC did not have enough data on the Pacific Ocean destination to assign a category.

There were nearly 115 destinations at Tier 3 on June 13. Level 3 locations make up nearly half of the approximately 235 locations monitored by the CDC.

Level 3

A classic view of the cityscape of Florence, Italy.  The Southern European country remains at Tier 3.

A classic view of the cityscape of Florence, Italy. The Southern European country remains at Tier 3.

rh2010/Adobe Stock

Mexico and the United Arab Emirates aren’t the only travel favorites in the “high” risk category. Many other popular travel destinations are also at Level 3.

Much of Europe stubbornly lodged there for months as the summer travel season began. As of June 13, the following popular European destinations were among those remaining at Tier 3:

• France
• Germany
• Greece
• Ireland
• Italy
• The Netherlands
• Portugal
• Spain
• UK

It’s not just European favorites that end up in Level 3. Many notable travel destinations around the world fall into the “high” risk category, including the following:

• Brazil
• Canada
•Costa Rica
• Malaysia
• South Korea
• Thailand

The CDC advises that you get up to date with your Covid-19 vaccines before traveling to a Tier 3 destination. are eligible.

Level 2

The Oak Ridge region of the island of Roatan, Honduras at sunrise.  Honduras fell to Tier 2 this week.

The Oak Ridge region of the island of Roatan, Honduras at sunrise. Honduras fell to Tier 2 this week.

Wollwerth/Adobe Stock Imaging

Destinations with the designation “Tier 2: Moderate Covid-19” have reported 50 to 100 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 population in the past 28 days. Three places were moved to this level on Monday:

• Green cap
• Honduras
• Saba

The move was good news for Honduras and the quiet Caribbean island of Saba, which was at Tier 3. Cape Verde, an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean off Africa, was at Tier 1.

There were only 16 destinations listed at Level 2 on June 13.

In its broader travel advice, the CDC recommended avoiding all international travel until you are fully immunized.
If you are concerned about a travel-specific health situation not related to Covid-19, check here.

Level 1

Classic cars are part of the Old Havana scene.  Cuba was moved to level 1, considered

Classic cars are part of the Old Havana scene. Cuba has been moved to level 1, considered a “low” risk for Covid.

diegograndi/Adobe Stock

To be at “Level 1: Covid-19 low”, a destination must have had 49 new cases or less per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 28 days. Only two destinations were added to the category on June 13:

• Iraq

Both nations were at Tier 2.


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. This week, two places have been added to this category:

• Belarus

Both had been at Level 3 last week.

The CDC advises against travel to these places precisely because the risks are unknown. Other destinations in this category include Cambodia, the Canary Islands, Macao and Tanzania.

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 there,” she said.

“Are you planning 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. “other. It’s very different. It’s 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.

“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 on Friday.

Top image: A tropical beach on Isla Holbox in the state of Quintana Roo in Mexico. (Zstock/Adobe Stock)

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