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(CNN) — The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has moved two South American destinations, a Middle Eastern country and a North African country, into its “high” travel risk category.

Four destinations were moved to level 3, or “high” risk on Monday:

• Bolivia
• Lebanon
• Peru
• Tunisia

Peru, known for the culinary excellence of its capital and its remarkable Inca ruins in the Andes, was previously classified at level 2, “moderate” risk. Bolivia, Lebanon and Tunisia were also ranked Tier 2 last week.

Level 3, or “high”, is now the top tier in terms of risk level and applies to places that have had more than 100 cases per 100,000 population in the past 28 days. Levels 2 and 1 are considered “moderate” and “low” risk respectively.

There were approximately 115 destinations at Level 3 on July 11. Tier 3 locations make up nearly 50% of the approximately 235 locations monitored by the CDC.

Level 4, previously the highest risk category, is now reserved only for special circumstances, such as an extremely high number of cases, the emergence of a new variant of concern or the collapse of healthcare infrastructures. health. Under the new system, no destinations have been placed at Tier 4 so far.

Learn more about level 3

Much of Europe has been stubbornly lodged in Level 3 for months with the summer travel season in full swing. As of July 11, the following popular European destinations were among those remaining at Tier 3:

• France
• Germany
• Greece
• Ireland
• Italy
• The Netherlands
• Norway
• Portugal
• Spain
• UK

These aren’t the only high-profile locations that fall into Level 3. Many other destinations around the world fall into the “high” risk category, including:

Brazil
• Canada
•Costa Rica
• Malaysia
• Mexico
• South Korea
• Thailand
• Turkey

The CDC advises that you get up to date with your Covid-19 vaccines before traveling to a Tier 3 destination. Being”up to date” means that you have received not only the initial full vaccinations, but also all the boosters for which you are eligible.

The South Pacific island nation of Fiji moved to the “moderate” risk level on Monday.

SCStock/Adobe Stock

Level 2

Destinations with the designation “Level 2: Moderate Covid-19” have reported 50 to 100 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 population in the past 28 days. The CDC only moved one spot to that level on Monday: Fiji.

Fiji has moved from Tier 1, “low” risk category.

There are 16 places in the “moderate” risk category this week.

In his wider travel advicethe CDC recommends being up to date on your vaccines before traveling abroad.

Level 1

To be listed as “Tier 1: Covid-19 Low”, a destination must have recorded 49 or fewer new cases per 100,000 population in the past 28 days. Only one place was added to the category on July 11: Romania.

The move to Tier 1 is good news for Romania, which was in Tier 2 last week.

There are more than 40 places in the “low” risk category this week.

Indonesia, India and the Philippines are among the most popular places in the “low” risk category this week.

Unknown

Finally, there are the destinations the CDC has deemed “unknown” risk due to a lack of information. Usually, but not always, these are small, remote places or places where war or unrest is going on. Four places were added to this category this week:

• Armenia
• Laos
• Liberia
• Mongolia

Armenia and Liberia were previously ranked at Tier 1. Laos and Mongolia were ranked at Tier 3.

The CDC advises against travel to these places precisely because the risks are unknown. Other destinations in this category that generally attract more attention from tourists include French Polynesia, Macau and the Maldives.

Medical expert weighs in on risk levels

Transmission rates are just a “benchmark” for travelers’ personal risk calculations, according to CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen.

We have entered “a phase of the pandemic where people have to make their own decisions based on their medical situation as well as their risk tolerance when it comes to contracting Covid-19,” said Wen, who is an emergency physician and professor. in Health Policy and Management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.

There are other factors to weigh in addition to transmission rates, according to Wen.

“Another is what precautions are needed and followed where you are going, and then the third is what you plan to do once there,” she said.

“Do you plan on visiting a lot of attractions and going to indoor bars? It’s very different from going somewhere where you plan to lay on the beach all day and not interact with anyone outside. “other. It’s very different. It’s very different levels of risk.”

Vaccination is the most important safety factor for travel, as unvaccinated travelers are more likely to get sick and transmit Covid-19 to others, Wen said.

And it’s also important to think about what you would do if you became positive outside of your home.

“Of course, if people have symptoms or are exposed while traveling, they should get tested, and if they are positive, follow up. CDC Isolation Guidelines“, Wen told CNN Travel recently.
If you are concerned about a travel-specific health situation unrelated to Covid-19, Check here.

Top image: A view of the valley from the Pinkuylluna archaeological site in Peru. (Anna Gorin/Moment RF/Getty Images)