The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is constantly updating travel guidance for Americans, and on August 30, added seven new destinations to its highest “Level 4” COVID-19 travel warning list, including Switzerland and St. Lucia. The State Department has also issued “do not travel” advisories for the seven locations.
The CDC designates destinations as Level 4 if they have 500 or more new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents over a 28-day period. The CDC recommends Americans avoid traveling to locales within the Level 4 category, and advises that those who absolutely must make the trip be fully vaccinated beforehand.
Even those that are vaccinated are still as risk of contracting the virus while traveling to these destinations, especially with the rapidly spreading Delta variant.
In addition to Switzerland and Puerto Rico, the CDC has also added St. Lucia, Guam, Azerbaijan, Estonia and North Macedonia to the Level 4 Do Not Travel list. All seven destinations were previously classified as Level 3 by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
All seven locales are under the Level 4 category, but while Switzerland, St. Lucia, Azerbaijan, Estonia and North Macedonia are classified with “avoid travel” advisories, the CDC hasn’t added that specific label to Puerto Rico and Guam (both of which are U.S. territories), and is instead recommending that travelers ensure they are fully vaccinated before traveling to those two destinations.
Anyone who is traveling right now is advised to continue checking the rapidly changing rules and regulations from government and health organizations, as well as following local guidance, plus masking and vaccinations. The TSA recently extended the federal transportation mask mandate through at least January 18, 2022, which requires travelers to wear face coverings on airplanes, trains, buses, subways and other modes of transport.
The CDC’s latest Level 4 updates came on the very same day that the European Union removed the United States from its “safe list” of countries where residents are able to travel to the E.U.’s 27 member states without being subject to additional restrictions, including quarantining and testing. At the moment, Americans are not prohibited from traveling to Europe, per the New York Times, as individual countries within the E.U. will now be able to decide if they want to issue new requirements.