17 Countries Got New Travel Advisory Levels From the CDC This Week

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Lush Swiss landscape with commuter train and lake, Lungern, Obwalden, Switzerland
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On Aug. 30, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently upgraded seven countries to a "Level 4: Very High" risk for COVID-19 on its list of Travel Health Notices. The Level 4 designation is the highest possible category, and the CDC recommends travelers avoid all travel to the destination.

New Level 4 countries include the two U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and Guam, and foreign countries inclusive of Switzerland, Azerbaijan, St. Lucia, North Macedonia, and Estonia. It also upped the risk status of several other countries, including Canada, Bermuda, and Germany, to "Level 3: High," urging travelers to make sure they are fully vaccinated before traveling to these areas or to avoid all non-essential travel if you are unvaccinated.

The newest CDC travel advisory updates come on the heels of last week’s changes which saw upgraded "Level 4: Do Not Travel" warnings placed on six countries, mostly in the Caribbean or the Middle East—Haiti, Sint Maarten, Bahamas, Kosovo, Lebanon, and Morocco. A closer look at this week’s new numbers reveals that the total number of countries designated at a Level 3 or Level 4 have only increased by three since last week. It’s also worth noting that Indonesia actually dropped from a Level 4 down to a Level 3.

Still, on the surface, it may not seem like much—what with 195 countries across the globe—however, the bigger picture places more than 78 percent of the world's countries within the top two tiers of the CDC's Travel Health Notices.

Plus, the U.S. isn’t the only country that has been shuffling around travel safety ranks due to COVID-19. Less than 24 hours before the CDC and State Department’s upgrades, the European Union (EU) announced it would be removing six countries from its safe travel list, including the United States from its safe travel list (we had a good two-month run). Other countries kicked off the current list include North Macedonia, Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Lebanon.

During August, rising local COVID-19 cases caused the CDC to add 40 global destinations to its Level 4 advisory list. A destination is slapped with a "Very High" Level 4 Travel Health Notice when it has over 500 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over a 28-day period (or just more than 500 new cases total for destinations with populations less than 100,000).

For an interactive worldwide map of the CDC’s COVID-19 travel advisories, visit the official site

Article Sources
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  1. European Commission. "Travel During the Coronavirus Pandemic."

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "How CDC Determines the Level for COVID-19 Travel Health Notices." June 7, 2021