CDC Adds Jamaica, Sri Lanka to List of ‘Very High’ Covid-19 Travel Risks


(CNN) – Two tropical islands halfway around the world and popular with tourists – Jamaica in the Caribbean and Sri Lanka in South Asia – are now among the riskiest destinations for travelers.

This is according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list of travel advisories, which was updated on Tuesday.

The isolated nation of Brunei on the island of Borneo is also joining the growing list of highest risks amid a global wave of cases of Delta variants.

People should avoid going to places designated with the “Very High Level 4: Covid-19” notice, recommends the CDC. Anyone who needs to travel should first be fully vaccinated, the agency advises.

How the CDC ranks nations

An aerial view of Kingston, Jamaica. The popular Caribbean island was recently hit by a wave of Covid-19 cases.

Valery Sharifulin / TASS / Getty Images

CDC’s evolving list of travel advisories ranges from Level 1 (“low”) to Level 4 (“very high”).

Destinations that fall under the Level 4 “Very High Covid-19” category have recorded more than 500 cases per 100,000 population in the past 28 days, according to CDC criteria. The level 3 category applies to destinations that have recorded between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 28 days.

Jamaica’s vaccination campaign against Covid-19 has so far had low numbers, with just 19 doses administered per 100 people on Tuesday. This was in a series of curfews since the end of August with days of “no movement” in the hope of slowing the spread of the virus.
Sri Lanka recently saw an increase in the number of cases despite one of the strongest vaccination campaigns in Asia, with 102 doses administered per 100 people on Tuesday. In comparison, its much larger neighbor, India, only gave 49 doses per 100 people.

Other popular destinations at level 4

A view of the Peloponnese in Greece, which is at CDC's highest risk level.

A view of the Peloponnese in Greece, which is at CDC’s highest risk level.

Suzanne Plunkett / CNN

Some of the world’s most visited vacation spots have a spot on the CDC’s Level 4 list. This includes the Covid-ravaged Brazil, which has occupied a place there for months. Other popular countries currently considered most at risk include:

– The Bahamas
– Costa-Rica
— France
– Greece
– Iceland
– Ireland
– Malaysia
— Portugal
— South Africa
– Spain
– Thailand
— Turkey
— UK.

You can click here to see all the nations of level 4, as well as the other three levels.

Level 3: High risk

Also on Tuesday, 10 nations were newly assigned to the CDC’s “Level 3: Covid-19 High” category. The small Caribbean resort island of Anguilla has been a big popular mover with luxury travelers.

He was at “level 1: low” and had maintained strict protocols on the arrival of tourists throughout the pandemic. Visitors must be fully vaccinated to enter and must still take a Covid-19 test and self-quarantine.

The other places upgraded to level 3 on Tuesday were:

– Antigua and Barbuda (above level 2)
– Benin (above level 1)
– Ghana (above level 2)
– Grenade (above level 1)
– Turks and Caicos Islands (above level 2)

A view of an Amsterdam canal on August 19.  The Netherlands moved to CDC Level 3 on Tuesday, an improvement from their previous Level 4.

A view of an Amsterdam canal on August 19. The Netherlands moved to CDC Level 3 on Tuesday, an improvement from their previous Level 4.

Oscar Gonzalez / NurPhoto / Getty Images

The move to level 3 was actually good news and a sign of progress for the UAE, which was at level 4. The other countries that moved from level 4 to level 3 were:

– Guinea-Bissau
– Malta
— The Netherlands

Not vaccinated? Do not leave

In his broader travel advice, the CDC has recommended avoiding all international travel until you are fully immunized.

“Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to contract and spread Covid-19. However, international travel poses additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers may be at increased risk of contracting and possibly spreading certain variants of Covid-19. “the agency said.

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