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CDC adds 5 more Caribbean island destinations to ‘very high’ risk list

 | Breaking News Updates

CDC adds 5 more Caribbean island destinations to ‘very high’ risk list

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(CNN) — The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday moved five Caribbean island destinations into its highest risk travel category for Covid-19.

In total, the CDC moved 15 places to Level 4, or “very high” risk, showing the continued grip of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus on the world at this time. Last week, 22 destinations were added to level 4.

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.

The 15 places added this week are:

• Colombia
•Costa Rica
• Dominican Republic
• Fiji
•Guadeloupe
• Jamaica
• Kuwait
• Mongolia
• Nigeria
• Peru
• Romania
• Saint-Barthélemy
• Saint-Martin
• Tunisia
• United Arab Emirates

Caribbean island destinations – Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin – accounted for a third of new entries this week. Haiti, which is located on the island of Hispaniola alongside the Dominican Republic, was already at level 4. And French Saint-Martin also shares an island with Dutch Sint Maarten, which was already at level 4.

Other popular Caribbean destinations were also already at Tier 4. These include Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Curacao and Turks and Caicos Islands.

Two mainland countries with Caribbean coastlines – Costa Rica in Central America and Colombia in South America – are also at Tier 4.

The Inca site of Machu Picchu is Peru’s most famous tourist site. On Monday, Peru moved to the CDC’s highest risk level for Covid-19.

Ernesto Benavides/AFP via Getty Images

Other notable travel hotspots added to Tier 4 this week that the CDC suggests travelers avoid include Peru, home to Machu Picchu, and the United Arab Emirates, home to Dubai.

Last week, 14 of 15 destinations were at Level 3, which is considered “high” risk for Covid-19.

Niger, a landlocked country in West Africa best known for its ancient caravan towns, was at Tier 1, considered “low” risk.

The Tier 4 roster now contains nearly 120 spots. By early January, there were around 80 destinations, further demonstrating the reach of the Omicron variant.
The CDC does not include the United States in its advisory list, but it was color-coded to Level 4 on Jan. 24 on the agency’s travel risk levels map.
In its broader travel guidelines, the CDC recommended avoiding all international travel until you are fully immunized.

Situation in Europe

While more of the Caribbean moves into Level 4 this week, nearly all of Europe has remained firmly entrenched there for weeks or months now. These locations include some of the biggest names on the continent.

• France
• Germany
• Greece
• Iceland
Ireland
• Italy
• Spain
• UK

Romania is the only new European addition to Tier 4 this week.

Tier 3 Additions

CDC adds 5 more Caribbean island destinations to ‘very high’ risk list

 | Breaking News Updates

The Taj Mahal mausoleum is the iconic symbol of India, which has seen great twists and turns with Covid-19. Omicron cases in India are increasing and they have moved to CDC level 3.

Ludovic Marin/AFP via 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 10 additions on Monday:

• Djibouti
• Equatorial Guinea
• Guatemala
• India
• Japan
• Kosovo
• Kyrgyzstan
• Mali
• Republic of Congo
• Senegal

Four of the destinations — Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa; Japan; Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia; and Senegal in West Africa – had been at “low” risk level 1.

The other six were at level 2.

Levels 2, 1 and unknown

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. This tier only saw two new additions on Monday.

They were Bangladeshwhich was at level 1, and small sultanate of Bruneiwho was “unknown” last week.

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 new additions were made on Monday.

China, which hosts the Winter Olympics in February, has been in Tier 1 since May 2021. It is one of twelve destinations currently in Tier 1.

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.

Popular “unknown” risk destinations include Cambodia, French Polynesia and Tanzania. The CDC advises against travel to these places precisely because the risks are unknown.

Cruise

CDC adds 5 more Caribbean island destinations to ‘very high’ risk list

 | Breaking News Updates

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 image: Tourists enjoy a beach in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic on January 7. (Photo by Erika Santelices/AFP via Getty Images)

CDC adds 5 more Caribbean island destinations to ‘very high’ risk list

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