The CDC has added 10 new destinations to its highest “Level 4” COVID-19 travel warning list, including the Caribbean islands of Grenada and St. Kitts and Nevis.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention releases updated travel guidance every week; a destination is designated as having a Level 4 “very high” level of transmission if 500 or more new cases are recorded per 100,000 people over a 28-day period. Americans are advised to avoid travel to any locales within the Level 4 category.
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Along with Grenada and St. Kitts and Nevis, the CDC also raised Afghanistan, Albania, Belize, Israel, Lithuania, Mauritius, Serbia and Slovenia to the highest travel warning level. Grenada and St. Kitts and Nevis are just two of the Caribbean islands currently included in the highest travel warning advisory; the Bahamas, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Lucia and Aruba are all presently categorized within Level 4.
While the CDC recommends Americans avoid any travel to Level 4 destinations, the agency advises those that must travel be fully vaccinated beforehand, in order to lower the risk of contracting COVID-19, especially with the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.
The CDC also moved Australia, Ethiopia and Romania from Level 2 up to Level 3, which indicates a “High” level of COVID-19; the agency advises anyone traveling to destinations within the Level 3 category be fully vaccinated, and that any unvaccinated people should avoid nonessential travel to these locales.
While traveling to areas with an extremely high transmission rate of COVID-19 is risky for vaccinated travelers, it’s even more unsafe for those who are unvaccinated, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends unvaccinated travelers avoid any international travel right now.
Anyone who is traveling should keep updated on both government and health regulations and advisories, as well as local guidance, which can include masking, social distancing, testing and vaccinations.
Thus far, there has not been a vaccine mandate for airline passengers in the U.S., but Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said he would support a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for all people traveling by plane. “I would support that if you want to get on a plane and travel with other people that you should be vaccinated,” Dr. Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Advisor to the President, told theSkimm.
For now, however, the U.S. Travel Association isn’t in agreement with the infectious disease expert, as the organization’s president released a statement in response that said, “U.S. Travel has long maintained that there should be no mandatory vaccination requirement for domestic travel. Such a policy would have an unfair, negative impact on families with young children who are not yet eligible to get the vaccine.”