The Center For Disease Control (CDC) has updated its weekly list of high-risk countries. Two countries have 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.
Ending The Ban On Foreign Visitors
The blanket travel ban on foreign visitors was a source of international contention. Back in June, Europe started reopening to Americans that were vaccinated while the United States failed to reciprocate. The Biden Administration that this policy will end in the coming weeks with a target date of November 1, 2021. The new policy will allow foreign visitors who are vaccinated to not only enter the United States but avoid having to quarantine.
The White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said “Fully vaccinated foreign nationals and American citizens returning to the United States from abroad will be required to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test within three days of their flight, and show proof of a negative result before boarding. Unvaccinated Americans returning to the US will be “subject to stricter testing requirements, including a test within one day of departure and an additional test when they return.”
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.
- 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 rules are still in development but you can expect changes to the testing policy. This story will be updated when the new rules are finalized.
Thailand To Reopen For Non-essential Travel
Thailand will be opening up on a program that consists of four phases:
Thailand’s initial reopening called the sandbox scheme will allow Americans who have fully vaccinated entry into Thailand without quarantine requirements. The requirement for using sandbox has several important steps and you can read that plan here.
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.
These countries have moved up the list to 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.
Here are the newest countries to move to level 4. Both of the latest countries to join level 4 are located in Europe.
Although Norway’s neighbors, Sweden and Denmark remain at level 3, Norway moved to level 4. This likely cause of this rise in level is due to relaxation of domestic Covid restrictions.
These Countries Have Moved To Level 3
Seven countries on the list this week have either improved or were downgraded. They are:
- Bangladesh – previously level 4
- Equatorial Guinea – previously level 1
- Panama – previously level 4
- Saint Barthelemy – previously level 4
- Singapore – previously level 2
- Slovakia – previously level 2
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 October 5, 2021.