(CNN) – A popular Middle East destination and a small Dutch Caribbean island were added to the CDC’s “high” risk category for travel on Monday.
Jordan and Sint Eustatius were the only two additions to the Level 3, “high” risk category.
More than half of the approximately 235 locations monitored by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are Level 3 locations.
This designation applies to areas with more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. Level 2 and Level 1 are considered “moderate” and “low” risk, respectively.
To recap, these two destinations were added to Tier 3 on August 8:
• St. Eustatius
Level 4, previously the highest risk category, is now reserved only for special circumstances, such as extremely high case numbers, the emergence of new types of concern, or the collapse of health care infrastructure. Under the new system, no destination has been placed on Level 4 so far.
View of the volcanic Caribbean island of Sint Eustatius as seen from Saint Kitts. Sint Eustatius is now at level 3, a “high” risk for Covid.
182485895/eqroy – stock.adobe.com
More on level 3
Much of Europe has been stubbornly stuck at Level 3 for several months, including the summer travel season in the traditionally busy August. Among those remaining at Level 3 as of August 8 were the following popular European destinations:
• The Netherlands
• United Kingdom
Those aren’t the only high-profile spots that find themselves on Level 3. Numerous other destinations around the world are in the “high” risk category, including:
• Costa Rica
• South Korea
Senegal moved to Level 2 on Monday, along with Dakar’s Ngor region.
Destinations with a “Level 2: Covid-19 Moderate” designation have reported 50 to 100 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 28 days. The CDC designated three new Level 2 sites on Monday:
The move was bad news for all three positions, which were all previously listed at Level 1. There are 20 places listed on Level 2 this week.
To be listed as “Level 1: Low Covid-19”, a destination must have had 49 or fewer new cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. Two places were added to the category on August 8:
Both destinations moved to low risk levels. Suriname was previously listed at Level 3 and Zimbabwe was previously listed at Level 2.
About 25 places are in the “low” risk category this week. Some other popular destinations in the “low” risk category this week include Egypt and Tanzania.
Finally, there are places the CDC considers to be of “unknown” risk due to lack of information. Usually, but not always, these are small, remote places or places with constant war or unrest.
Just one destination added this week: Malawi.
The CDC advises against travel to these locations because the risks are unknown. Other destinations in this category that particularly attract more tourists include the Azores, Hungary and the Maldives.
About 65 locations are listed as “unknown” this week, more than a quarter of all locations monitored.
Medical experts weigh the level of risk
CNN medical analyst Dr. According to Lina Wen, transmission rates are only “a guidepost” for calculating the individual risk of travelers.
We’ve “moved to a stage in the pandemic where people need to make decisions based on their medical conditions as well as their risk tolerance for contracting Covid-19,” said Wayne, who is an emergency physician and professor. in Health Policy and Management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.
According to Wayne, there are other factors to weigh besides transmission rates.
“What are the precautions you need to take and follow where you’re going, and third is what you plan to do when you get there,” she said.
“Are you planning to visit a lot of attractions and go to an indoor bar? That’s a lot different than if you’re going somewhere where you’re going to lie on the beach all day and not interact with anybody else. That’s very different. Those are 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, Wayne said.
And it’s also important to think about what you’ll do if you test positive away from home.
Top Image: Al-Khazneh Temple seen in the ancient city of Petra in Jordan. (Ali Baliki/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)