CDC Eases Travel Restrictions to More than 100 Countries; More Travelers Taking to the Skies


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As the number of Americans getting the Covid vaccination increases and the deadly virus is now more controlled, it was reported on Monday that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has eased travel restrictions for more than 120 countries.

According to a report that appeared on the CNN website, in the updated information that the CDC provided as it pertains to guidance on international travel, it is moving 33 countries, including Iceland, Israel and Singapore into the lowest risk category.

Such countries as Canada, Mexico, Japan, Italy, France and Germany have dropped from a Level 4 “COVID-19 very high” alert to Level 3 “COVID-19 high” alert, according to the CDC’s travel recommendations list. The NY Post reported that the list provides a thorough assessment of each country’s health and safety risk for travelers. The agency also advises all travelers to be fully vaccinated before taking off to an international destination.

CNN reported that the Caribbean, a particularly popular vacation spot is now gaining steam as a low-risk region. Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Barthélemy as well as the Turks and Caicos are all new additions to the lowest-risk CDC category, as is the Central American country of Belize, according to the CNN report.

Already in the lowest risk category are such countries as Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sint Eustatius and the Cayman Islands.

The New York Post reported that a country is rated based on how many cases were reported in the past 28 days per 100,000 population. A “Level 4” is more than 500 cases; “Level 3” is 100 to 500 cases; “Level 2 Moderate” has 50 to 99 and “Level 1 Low” has fewer than 50, the guidance says. Still at “Level 4,” are Argentina, North Korea, Costa Rica, Chile, Cuba and Jamaica among others.

Airlines generally require international passengers to obtain a Covid test within 3 days before boarding the aircraft and some countries are asking to inspect vaccination cards of travelers. The CNN report indicates that being fully vaccinated does not necessarily translate into being exempt from other safety measures.

As to European countries which traditionally see a large number of travelers during the summer season, very few of them are on the level 1 list. CNN reported that the island of Malta, near Spain and the self-governing Isle of Man in the Irish Sea are considered level 1 countries.

Such popular destinations as Germany, Greece, France, Italy and Spain are in the level 3 categeory. In the CDC’s highest risk category, level 4, are the Netherlands, Belgium, and Croatia.

CNN also reported that French Polynesia, Morocco and Singapore have been designated a low risk and placed on level 1.

For countries at level 3, which also includes Mexico, Russia and Iran, the CDC recommends against nonessential travel for that those who are unvaccinated. These countries are currently reporting 100 to 500 cases per 100,000 residents.

The Post reported that India, which has had trouble with their vaccine rollout and a recent surge in coronavirus cases, is ranked at “Level 4” by the CDC. “Because of the current situation in India, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants.”

Meanwhile, Americans and others are taking to the skies as airline travel has substantially increased over the last several months. The Post reported that airports screened 1,984,658 people at checkpoints on Sunday, the highest since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest data from the Transportation Security Administration. That’s a 350 percent increase from last year when 441,255 passengers were screened through airports on June 6.