The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has downgraded the warning level for American travelers to a handful of destinations as their COVID-19 situation improved in recent days.
The agency, which has been tracking about 235 nations for COVID cases since the start of the pandemic, didn’t raise the warning level for any locations as cases of the virus remained constant in many regions of the world.
While it is unclear if this is a sign that COVID cases are waning in some parts of the world, it follows the second consecutive week of no new additions to the Level 3 category – the highest warning level for travelers listed by the CDC.
Falling down on the warning list was Kenya, which was previously listed in the Level 2 “moderate” risk category for travel. Kenya moved to the Level 1 “low” risk category on Monday, along with the African nation of Togo, which also dropped from Level 2 to Level 1.
Other changes made by the CDC included moving Montserrat – a Caribbean location – from Level 3 “high” risk to Level 2 “moderate” risk for travel.
One change to the CDC’s warning list for travel during the pandemic was moved due to an increase in COVID cases. Timor-Leste, which is in southeast Asia, saw its way to Level 2 “moderate” risk from Level 1 “low” risk.
Sint Maarten, which is also in the Caribbean, dropped to the “unknown” category as its COVID information is considered unreliable.
Nations in the “unknown” category typically are remote places that may have ongoing warfare or unrest, which the CDC advises to avoid visiting because the risk of contracting COVID-19 is simply unknown.
While the CDC made some improvements regarding travel, more than half of the destinations being monitored by the agency are still firmly lodged in the Level 3 “high” risk category.
Level 3 is the highest risk level currently listed by the CDC as it made over its warning system back in April, reserving its Level 4 “very high” risk category for locations with extreme COVID cases, the emergence of a new variant, or the collapse of a healthcare system. There are currently no nations listed in the Level 4 category by the agency.
A Level 3 destination has more than 100 COVID cases per 100,000 residents reported in the past 28 days, while Level 2 “moderate” risk places have between 50 to 100 COVID cases per 100,000 residents reported in the past 28 days. The CDC’s Level 1 “low” risk category has locations with 49 or fewer COVID cases per 100,000 residents reported in the past 28 days.
The CDC advises against traveling to places listed in its Level 3 “high” risk category, saying that travelers should be up to date with all their COVID vaccines, while warning that “Even if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, you may still be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19.”