NOTE: This post usually updates on Tuesdays.
The Center For Disease Control (CDC) has updated its weekly list of high-risk countries. Thirteen popular countries have remained at or moved up to the very high-risk, level 4 countries. The list of country designations continues to be a moving target with some countries moving up the list and some moving down to lower categories.
The Omicron variant is the big news that originated in several South African countries with cases showing up around the world. More than 40 countries have imposed restrictions on travel from the following countries:
- South Africa
Botswana continues at level 4 and has been at that level since July 6, 2021.
The CDC is currently evaluating Omicron for variants of the virus and the effectiveness of current vaccines on Omicron.
Unvaccinated Americans Returning To the United States
If you are an American who is not vaccinated, returning to the United States will get more complicated. The new travel rules will make two significant changes:
- The testing window for return Covid testing will be reduced from three days down to one day. This means a Covid test was conducted 24 hours prior to departure.
- Unvaccinated travelers will be required to test again after they return to the United States. Where and when this test is to be performed has yet to be decided.
The new testing window for unvaccinated Americans can be problematic because you will need an approved test with a fast turnaround time for the results. You will have to show proof of a negative Covid test prior to boarding your flight.
Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or Recovery from COVID-19 for All Air Passengers Arriving in the United States can be found here.
Countries Moving Up To Level 4
Destinations that fall into the “Covid-19 very high” Level 4 category have had more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days, according to CDC parameters. The Level 3 category applies to destinations that have had between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. This week, there are currently 101 destinations that remain at Level 4.
Many popular countries have either initiated restrictions or will be implementing restrictions. Be sure to check on countries that you plan to visit for current or pending restrictions.
These countries have remained at level 4 from previously lower levels. The main reason this has happened is that the CDC has received more complete data on the actual conditions in those countries.
The famous Munich Christmas Market has been cancelled for 2021 as it was cancelled last year.
Here are popular countries remaining at level 4. Many of the latest countries that remain at level 4 are the most popular vacation destinations in Europe due to a surge in the Delta variant.
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
These Countries Have Moved To Level 3
Three countries on the list this week have either improved or were downgraded. They are:
- Bahamas – previously level 4
- Bolivia – previously level 2
- Papua New Guinea – previously level 4
Countries That Have Changed To Level 2
- Morocco – previously level 3
Countries Now Reported At Level 1
India has made great progress in controlling Covid. This past spring, the spread of Covid was out of control in India.
Popular Countries With Unknown Risks
The following countries have insufficient data for the CDC to assign a risk level:
CDC guidance for Level 3 and Level 4 destinations urges unvaccinated travelers to avoid nonessential travel to those locations. The CDC also recommends avoiding all international travel until you are fully vaccinated.
The Full List And Travel Advisories
The full list along with travel advisories from the CDC can be found here. This list changes weekly so it might be a site to add to your travel bookmarks.
All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
The list of countries that the CDC maintains continues to change every week as more data is known. Some countries have improved and some have declined. Some countries including the United States improve and then fall into a state of decline. This CDC list and advisories are posted to help you make an educated decision on whether to travel or not.
The next update is scheduled for December 7, 2021.