The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recently raised the travel warning to level 4 or “very high” in three European countries, Iceland, Guernsey, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. The CDC has advised Americans to avoid traveling to these countries due to an alarming rise in Covid-19 cases. Several other popular European countries have made the list recently, including the Netherlands, Croatia, and Norway.
The Covid pandemic is still a threat globally, and the CDC continues to monitor cases levels around the world to determine each countries Health Notice Level. The CDC defines the levels based on the incident rate or the number of cases over the last 28 days per 100,000 people. A country receives a level 4 status if it reports 500 or more new covid cases every day and the case trajectory. The CDC evaluates a country when it reaches a new travel health notice level, and if it remains there for 14 days or more, they decide to change the notice to the new level. The CDC updates the list for travel recommendations every week.
In an effort to curb the sudden rise in Covid-19 cases, the Czech Republic has tightened Covid restrictions to curb the increase in cases after they reached levels close to previous waves. They are considering a new lockdown and stricter rules for people who remain unvaccinated for Covid 19, similar to the measures taken in Austria. The government met, and the board is suggesting no longer accepting antigen tests for events and outings.
Over 70 countries remain in Level 4, including many favorites for European Travel, such as the United Kingdom and the British Virgin Isles. The CDC lowered several destinations to Level 1: low, including Japan, India, Pakistan, Liberia, Gambia, and Mozambique. A low level indicates there are fewer than 50 reported cases in a day. Even with the lowered number of cases, the CDC still recommends holding off on travel until you are fully vaccinated.
The adjustments to the travel health level notices come just as international travel is beginning to pick back up. The United States has just recently opened its borders to fully vaccinated international travelers. Travelers must provide proof of vaccination and provide a negative covid-19 test taken at least three days before travel. Many places have seen their numbers of daily Covid cases begin to fall. There are many countries experiencing record outbreaks.
Even with the rise in Covid-19 cases, holiday travel is expected to increase. Airports are preparing for travelers in numbers close to pre-pandemic numbers. Americans traveling who are unvaccinated should be prepared for new tighter testing requirements for travel that recently rolled out on November 8th.
The CDC continues to recommend limiting or avoiding international travel until you are fully vaccinated. Although they warn that even fully vaccinated people should take care when traveling internationally. They still run the risk of getting and spreading variants of Covid-19.