(CNN) — A popular Middle East tourist destination and a tiny Dutch Caribbean island were listed in the CDC’s “high” risk category for travel on Monday.
Jordan and Sint Eustatius were the only two entrants in the Level 3 risk category, “high” risk.
Level 3 locations make up more than half of the approximately 235 locations monitored by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The designation applies to places that have had more than 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 28 days. Level 2 and Level 1 are considered “moderate” and “low” risk, respectively.
To recap, these two objectives were added to Level 3 on August 8th:
• Saint Eustatius
Level 4, previously the highest risk category, is now reserved only for special circumstances such as: B. extremely high case numbers, the emergence of a new variant of concern or the collapse of the health infrastructure. No targets have been placed at level 4 under the new system.
A view of the volcanic Caribbean island of Sint Eustatius as seen from St Kitts. Sint Eustatius is now at level 3, ‘high’ risk for Covid.
More on level 3
Much of Europe has been stubbornly housed at Level 3 for months as the summer travel season now falls into a traditionally busy August. The following popular European destinations were among those remaining at Tier 3 as of August 8:
• The Netherlands
• United Kingdom
These aren’t the only high-profile locations to be found at Tier 3. Numerous other destinations around the world are among those in the “high” risk category, including the following:
• Costa Rica
• South Korea
Senegal, pictured with the Ngor area of Dakar, moved to Level 2 on Monday.
Destinations labeled “Level 2: Covid-19 Moderate” reported 50 to 100 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the past 28 days. The CDC designated three new Level 2 spots Monday:
The move was bad news for all three locations, all of which were previously listed at Tier 1. There are 20 locations listed at Level 2 this week.
To be listed as Level 1: Covid-19 Low, a destination must have had 49 or fewer new cases per 100,000 people in the past 28 days. On August 8th, two places were added to the category:
Both targets have been moved to a lower risk level. Suriname was previously listed at Level 3 and Zimbabwe was previously listed at Level 2.
This week there are about 25 places in the “low” risk category. Some of the most popular locations in the low risk category this week are Egypt and Tanzania.
Finally, there are the targets that the CDC has classified as an “unknown” risk due to a lack of information. Usually, but not always, these are small, remote places or places with ongoing wars or civil unrest.
Only one destination was added this week: Malawi.
The CDC advises against traveling to these locations precisely because the risks are unknown. Other destinations in this category that usually attract more tourist attention are the Azores, Hungary and the Maldives.
About 65 locations are listed as “unknown” this week, accounting for more than a quarter of all monitored locations.
A medical expert weighs the risk levels
According to CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen.
We have entered “a phase of the pandemic where people must make their own decisions based on their medical circumstances as well as their risk tolerance when it comes to contracting Covid-19,” said Wen, the emergency room doctor and professor is in health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.
According to Wen, there are other factors to consider in addition to transfer rates.
“Another is what precautions are needed and followed at the place, and the third is what you want to do once you’re there,” she said.
“Planning to visit many attractions and go to indoor bars? This is very different than going somewhere where you lie on the beach all day and don’t want to interact with anyone. This is very different. Those are 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 consider what you would do if you tested positive while away from home.
Top image: The Al-Khazneh Temple is seen in the ancient city of Petra, Jordan. (Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)