As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) dropped more nations from its “very high” risk travel category amid declining COVID cases, countries in Europe have not budged from the Level 4 list, leaving American travelers wary of traveling to the region regardless of their vaccination status.

The CDC deems a Level 4 destination as having more than 500 COVID cases per 100,000 residents reported in the past 28 days.

While no new locations were added to the CDC’s Level 4 category on Monday, the popular European region saw no changes to its ranking as it sits firmly on the “very high” risk list – the highest travel warning for Americans by the CDC.

The CDC warns Americans that “Even if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, you may still be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19” when traveling to a Level 4 location.

The CDC’s Level 4 category currently has around 100 destinations listed, which had ballooned to over 140 nations in February.

Popular tourist spots such as the U.K., France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal are all holding in the Level 4 “very high” risk category and have been there for several months based on their high COVID case count.

Other popular destinations also listed in the Level 4 category include Thailand, Brazil, Costa Rica, Aruba, Australia, Bermuda, and Chile.

On a positive note, the CDC did update the travel ranking of Egypt and Saint Martin from Level 4 to Level 3 “high” risk on Monday as both locations saw improvements in their COVID situations.

A Level 3 nation is determined by the agency as having between 100 and 500 COVID cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.

Also seeing an update on Monday was the South American island nation of Guyana, which dropped from Level 3 to Level 2 “moderate” risk as its COVID cases declined.

Level 2 destinations have between 50 and 99 cases of the virus per 100,000 residents reported in the past 28 days.

Several changes were also made to the CDC’s Level 1 “low” risk category – an encouraging sign for American travelers – as locations were added to the listing. A Level 1 location has fewer than 50 COVID cases per 100,000 residents reported over the past 28 days, the CDC said.

The new destinations added to the Level 1 category included Bangladesh, Haiti, Myanmar, the Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Saudi Arabia.

Haiti, Myanmar, and Saudi Arabia saw a significant improvement in their COVID cases, moving from Level 4 to Level 1, while Saint Vincent and the Grenadines dropped from Level 3. The remaining nations were previously listed in the Level 2 category.

The CDC also saw changes to its “unknown” category, where the COVID risk is unknown due to unreliable information, warfare, or unrest. Three destinations were added to the “unknown” category on Monday by the CDC – Burkina Faso, the Faroe Islands, and Madagascar.

Previously, Burkina Faso was listed as a Level 1 nation, while the Faroe Islands, and Madagascar were ranked in the Level 4 category.

Paris, France No. 4 Paris, France Photo: REUTERS

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