Top image: A view of the Singel Canal in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty Images) CNN’s Forrest Brown contributed to this report.


By Marnie Hunter, CNN

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week added two northwest European countries to their list of “very high” risk travel destinations amid an increase in cases in Europe that a WHO official described it as “of serious concern”.

The Netherlands and Luxembourg were added to the CDC’s highest risk category on Monday afternoon. Both were previously listed as level 3, or “high” risk for Covid-19.

Hans Kluge, regional director of the World Health Organization, said on Thursday that every country in Europe and Central Asia “faces a real threat of a Covid-19 resurgence or the fight already”.

“The current rate of transmission in the 53 countries of the European Region is of great concern,” said Kluge.

The Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, an autonomous archipelago that is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, have also been added to the level 4 category. In the Caribbean, the Cayman Islands have been given a level 4 designation.

Destinations that fall into the CDC’s Level 4 “Very High Covid-19” category have recorded more than 500 cases per 100,000 population in the past 28 days.

People should avoid going to places designated with a “level 4” notice, recommends the CDC. Anyone who needs to travel should first be fully vaccinated, the agency advises.

These four destinations were upgraded to level 4 on November 8:

• Luxembourg
• Cayman Islands
• Faroe Islands
• Netherlands

All four locations were previously listed as Level 3 or “high” risk.

Many popular international vacation spots have remained on the highest alert level, evidence of the continuing hold of Covid-19.

There were 80 countries at level 4 from November 8. The current list of Tier 4 destinations includes: Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Botswana, Greece, Maldives, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

New entries at level 3

The level 3 category – which applies to destinations that have recorded between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 population in the past 28 days – has had four updates this week:

• Iran
• Saint-Martin
• Thailand
• Republic of Congo

Being placed at level 3 was a sign of progress in all four locations, which were previously listed as level 4.

You can view the CDC’s risk levels for global destinations on its travel recommendations page.

According to CNN medical analyst Dr Leana Wen, travelers should consider other factors beyond Covid-19 incidence rates that feature prominently in CDC travel advisories.

“Transmission rates are a benchmark. Another is the precautions needed and followed where you are going, and then the third is what you plan to do when you get there, ”said Wen, emergency physician and professor of health policy and management at the United States. George University of Washington Milken Institute School of Public Health.

“Do you plan to visit a lot of attractions and go to indoor bars? It’s very different from going somewhere where you plan to lie on the beach all day and not interacting with someone else, ”said Wen, who is also the author of a new story. book, “Lifelines: A Doctor’s Journey in the Fight for Public Health.”

Most importantly, travelers need to be vaccinated, she said.

Updates to level 2

There have been two updates to the Level 2 category this week. Nepal and the United Arab Emirates have both upgraded from Level 3.

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

Keep in mind that the CDC list is updated weekly, and the situation in any country may change for better or for worse from week to week.

Level 1 and no assessment

In the category of “Level 1: Covid-19 Low” destinations, less than 50 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants have been recorded during the last 28 days.

Five destinations were upgraded to level 1 on November 8:

• Ivory Coast (Ivory Coast)
• Guinea-Bissau
• Malawi
• Rwanda
• Sudan

Finally, there are destinations for which the CDC has an “unknown” risk due to a lack of information. As of November 8, this list included Madagascar, Cambodia, Nicaragua and Syria.

In its broader travel guidelines, the CDC 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 could be at increased risk of contracting and possibly spreading certain variants of Covid-19, ”the agency said.

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Top image: A view of the Singel Canal in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty Images) CNN’s Forrest Brown contributed to this report.

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