The CDC has added two new destinations to its highest travel advisory warning level. On Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its latest updated travel guidance, and moved Norway and Bulgaria to the Level 4 “Very High” category.
Both countries were previously designated within the Level 3 “High” group. Destinations are classified as Level 4 if 500 or more new cases of COVID-19 are recorded per 100,000 people over a 28-day period.
Norway’s new Level 4 status comes just days after the country lifted most of its coronavirus-related restrictions, including easing social distancing, masking, business capacity limits and other domestic pandemic regulations. Shortly after the Scandivinan country lifted the majority of the COVID-19 constraints, police reported a number of violent disturbances and fights amid rowdy celebrations, per the Associated Press.
The CDC advises Americans to avoid traveling to any destinations classified as Level 4 status. If travel is absolutely necessary, the agency recommends travelers be fully vaccinated beforehand, and to keep informed of rapidly changing rules and guidelines from government and health organizations, in addition to local guidance.
The CDC currently advises unvaccinated Americans to avoid all international travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic, especially with the rise of highly contagious strains like the Delta variant.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also shifted six destinations to Level 3; Equatorial Guinea, Singapore and Slovakia were all raised from lower levels, while St. Barthelemy, Panama and Bangladesh were lowered from previous Level 4 classification.
St. Barthelemy had been at Level 4 status since early August; a number of other Caribbean islands, including St. Martin, the Bahamas, Antigua, Aruba and St. Lucia are all still designated within the highest-risk Level 4 category.
In November, the U.S. will ease travel restrictions for vaccinated foreign visitors, ending a ban that has been in place since January 2020. The new policy reopens air travel to visitors coming from 33 countries, including members of the E.U., U.K., South Africa, China and more.