The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released its latest updated travel guidance, and has raised four new destinations to its highest Level 4 COVID-19 travel warning level. The CDC has moved Belgium, Russia, Slovakia and Burkina Faso into the riskiest Level 4 category, which indicates a “Very High” level of COVID-19.
A destination is classified as Level 4 if there are 500 or more new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents within a 28-day time period. Belgium, Russia and Slovakia were all previously designated as Level 3 “High Level” status, which the CDC defines as between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 residents over 28 days.
The West African country of Burkina Faso was the only location that jumped up to Level 4 from Level 1 status; Level 1 indicates a low level of COVID-19.
The CDC advises Americans to avoid traveling to any destinations within the Level 4 category, and recommends that anyone who must travel ensure they are fully vaccinated beforehand. At the moment, the health agency urges unvaccinated Americans avoid any international travel.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also moved Fiji, Jamaica, Laos and Poland to Level 3. Both Fiji and Jamaica were lowered from previous Level 4 status, while Poland was elevated from the Level 2 category. Laos was moved to Level 3 after previously not having any CDC COVID-19 designation.
Fiji’s new Level 3 status comes mere weeks before the country plans to reopen to fully vaccinated foreign tourists. The island nation is expected to start welcoming fully vaccinated visitors starting on December 3; travelers will need to show proof that they are at least 14 days past the time of their second vaccination, as well as proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
A number of countries have started reopening to vaccinated foreign tourists, including Thailand. After one of the strictest coronavirus lockdowns, Australia also recently reopened its borders, but only to vaccinated citizens and permanent residents. Starting November 8, the United States will begin easing travel restrictions for vaccinated foreign visitors, and will reopen air travel to visitors coming from 33 countries. The U.S. is also lifting travel restrictions at the land borders with Canada and Mexico for fully vaccinated foreign nationals.