CDC rates Mexico at ‘very high’ risk for travel

(CNN) — After more than six months in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Tier 3 low-risk travel category, Mexico moved to “very high” risk Tier 4 on Monday along with 11 other destinations.

Of the 12 destinations added in Level 4, five were in South America: Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay and French Guiana (an overseas territorial collectivity of France).

In the Caribbean, Anguilla and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines moved to Tier 4.

Singapore and the Philippines in Southeast Asia have also moved into the highest risk category, as have Moldova and Kosovo in Europe.

The CDC places a destination at Level 4 when more than 500 cases per 100,000 population are recorded in the past 28 days. The CDC advises travelers to avoid traveling to Tier 4 countries.

To recap, the 12 spots added this week are:

• Anguilla
• Brazil
• Chile
• Ecuador
• French Guiana
• Kosovo
• Mexico
• Moldova
• Paraguay
• The Philippines
• Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
• Singapore

Brazil was added to the CDC’s highest risk category for travel on Monday. Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro is pictured here on January 20.

Carl de Souza/AFP via Getty Images

Almost all Tier 4 additions were listed as Tier 3 last week, or “high” risk for Covid-19. The only exception is French Guiana, which was listed as “unknown” last week due to a lack of information.

Tier 4 list now contains almost 130 places. By early January, there were around 80 destinations, demonstrating the rapid growth of the Omicron variant around the world. Tier 4 now has more destinations than all of the other CDC categories combined.
The CDC does not include the United States in its advisory list, but it was color-coded to Level 4 on January 31 on the agency’s website. travel risk levels map.
In his wider travel advicethe CDC has recommended avoiding all international travel until you are fully immunized.

Tier 3 Additions

Nepal moved from Tier 2 to Tier 3 on Monday.  Kathmandu, Nepal, pictured here October 15, 2021.

Nepal moved from Tier 2 to Tier 3 on Monday. Kathmandu, Nepal, pictured here October 15, 2021.

Rebecca Conway/Getty Images

The Tier 3 category – which applies to destinations that have had between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 population in the past 28 days – saw 11 Monday additions:

• Bhutan
• Brunei
• Comoros
• French Polynesia
• The Gambia
• Guinea
• Guinea-Bissau
• Honduras
• Liberia
• Nepal
• Oman

No destination dropped from level 4 this week. Six were previously at Level 2: Brunei, Comoros (an archipelago off the coast of East Africa), Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Liberia and Nepal.

Bhutan, Guinea, Gambia and Oman increased by two levels of risk from level 1.

Last week, French Polynesia was listed in the “unknown” category.

Levels 2, 1 and unknown

New Zealand, with the city of Wellington pictured here in 2020, remained at Tier 2 this week.

New Zealand, with the city of Wellington pictured here in 2020, remained at Tier 2 this week.

Hagen Hopkins/Getty ImagesAsiaPac/Getty Images

Destinations with the designation “Level 2: Moderate Covid-19” have recorded 50 to 99 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 28 days.

There were no additions to Tier 2 on Monday. Currently, there are only seven Tier 2 destinations, including New Zealand, which has some of the toughest travel restrictions in the world.

To be at “Level 1: Covid-19 Low”, a destination must have registered fewer than 50 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 28 days.

No destinations were moved to Level 1 on Monday. There are currently eight destinations in the category, including China, which hosts the Winter Olympics in February.

Finally, there are destinations for which the CDC has an “unknown” risk due to lack of information. Usually, but not always, these are small, remote places or places where war or unrest is going on. There were no additions this week.

Tanzania, Cambodia, and the Canary Islands are among the locations currently listed in the unknown category. The CDC advises against travel to these places precisely because the risks are unknown.

Cruise

A docked Norwegian Gem cruise ship is seen at the Port of Miami in 2021.

A docked Norwegian Gem cruise ship is seen at the Port of Miami in 2021.

Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

On Dec. 30, the CDC raised the risk of cruise ship travel to Level 4 and said it should be avoided, regardless of vaccination status. It remained at level 4 in the last update.

Travel Considerations

Transmission rates are important to consider when making travel decisions, but there are also other factors to weigh, according to Dr. Leana Wen, CNN medical analyst, emergency physician and professor of politics and science. health management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.

“Transmission rates are a benchmark,” Wen said. “Another is what precautions are needed and followed where you are going, and then the third is what you plan to do once you get there.

“Are you planning on visiting a lot of attractions and going to indoor bars? It’s very different from going somewhere where you plan to lay on the beach all day and not interact with anyone outside. “other. It’s very different. It’s very different levels of risk.”

Vaccination is the most important safety factor for travel, as unvaccinated travelers are more likely to get sick and transmit Covid-19 to others, Wen said.

She said people should wear a high-quality mask – N95, KN95 or KF94 – whenever they are in crowded indoor settings with people whose vaccination status is unknown.

Before traveling, it’s also important to think about what you would do if you ended up testing positive away from home, Wen said. Where will you be staying and how easy will it be to take a test to return home?

Top photo: People hang out at the beach in Tulum, Mexico on October 30, 2021. (Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images)

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