Monday’s weekly announcement by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of its travel health advisories was remarkable.
In the highest, Level 4 risk category… (drum roll, please) there were zero new additions to report.
America’s health organization didn’t add even one new destination to its highest-risk category for travel this week.
That’s after months of seeing the list continue to grow of the places the CDC deems the most risky to travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CDC advises against travel to places on the Level 4 list.
As recently as last week, on 14MAR, the CDC added 7 destinations, including France and Thailand, to its highest-risk list. Last summer, during the height of the Delta variant sweeping countries world-wide, it added 16 destinations in just one week to its Level 4 list. And in the third week of JAN this year, a whopping 22 countries were added to the list no nation wants to be on, and no one in travel wants to see expand.
The CDC bases its risk assessments on the number of COVID cases per capita in every country.
So it can only be considered ‘good news’ and a milestone in post-pandemic travel that the Level 4 list had no new additions on Monday 28MAR.
Still, CNN notes that almost 115 destinations remain “stalled” in that category - and that’s almost half of the 240 destinations the CDC assesses.
The list of countries still categorized as highest risk include Canada as well as France and Thailand just added last week, Caribbean destinations like Aruba, and European nations including popular summer vacation destinations Spain, Italy and Greece. The UK is at Level 4, too, where it’s been parked since JUL 2021.
Nonetheless, we’ll take the wins where we can get them, and no new additions to Level 4 this week is hopefully a sign of a reversing trajectory back towards low-risk international travel.
You can check the CDC’s risk designation for any country on its COVID-19 travel notices page.