August 8, 2022

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has moved seven more countries to...

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has moved seven more countries to its highest-risk category for travel – a list that has now grown to include 134 destinations.
he CDC this week gave the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Oman, Libya, Japan, Israel, Cuba and Armenia a “Level 4″ warning, which means it is recommending that Americans avoid traveling there, even if vaccinated.
The CDC moved Ireland to its highest travel alert level due to concerns over Covid-19 last August.
“Avoid travel to Ireland” states the advice on its country travel advisory, adding: “if you must travel to Ireland, make sure you are fully vaccinated and up to date with your Covid-19 vaccines before travel”.
“Even if you are up to date with your Covid-19 vaccines, you may still be at risk for getting and spreading Covid-19,” it says.
The US State Department also issues its own travel advisories, which factor in the CDC’s recommendations but include other threats such as terrorism, civil unrest, crime and natural disasters.
Ireland is currently on its ‘ Level: Do Not Travel’ advisory, due to “a very high level of Covid-19” in the country.
The CDC’s four travel advisory levels – which start at “low” risk and escalate to “moderate,” “high” and “very high” – are designed to help Americans navigate travel in the pandemic as case levels continue to fluctuate.
Like State Department travel advice, it is issued as guidance, rather than a legal requirement to travellers. However, official ‘Do Not Travel’ advice can impact tourist travel and travel insurance coverage.
Countries and territories marked as “Level 4″ by the CDC have an infection incidence rate of more than 500 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people over the past 28 days (or, in places with fewer than 100,000 residents, more than 500 cases cumulatively over the past 28 days).
Its advisories also take into account a country or territory’s capacity to test for the coronavirus.
A destination’s risk designation can go up if both metrics – the case count and the testing capacity – meet the criteria for a higher-risk category for two weeks, or sooner “if there is a large increase in COVID-19 cases reported,” the CDC says.
Other European countries like France, Spain, the UK and Portugal are all rated as Level 4. 
The public health agency recommends that all travellers should be fully vaccinated, regardless of their destination’s designation.
– Additional reporting by Hannah Sampson, Pól Ó Conghaile
© Washington Post

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