Puerto Rico, Estonia and Switzerland are among the seven destinations added on Monday to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s highest risk category for travel.
According to the guidance, travelers should avoid visiting all destinations carrying the “Level 4: Covid-19 very high” notice given the high possibilities to contract and spread some of the new variants of the coronavirus.
In case travel cannot be postponed, the CDC urged people to make sure to get the full course of a vaccine against COVID-19 at least 14 days before traveling.
The other five destinations added to the Level 4 list on August 31 were Azerbaijan, Estonia, Guam, North Macedonia and Saint Lucia.
The CDC downgrades a country to the “Level 4 category” when it reports more than 500 cases per 100,000 population in the last 28 days.
That’s all for Level 4. But level 3 is also undesirable. This category applies to countries reporting between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the last 28 days.
In this report, the CDC also downgraded Bermuda, Canada, Germany and Moldova to level 3.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended strict measures as key to beating the pandemic. She has locked down areas with high infection rates and recently started to request all restaurant and bar customers to bear proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to allow them eating inside.
Yet, none of these measures have sufficed to stem the spread of the Delta variant.
By June 30, the country of 83.2 million inhabitants reported 806 new cases per day. By August 30 the number had spiraled to 6,823 cases. An increase of 846%.
Canada is not doing well either. On August 8, one day before Canada reopened its borders to their American neighbors, the country was reporting a total of 1,581 new COVID-19 cases per day. By then the country enjoyed the perks of being ranked at Level 2 risk.
Only three weeks after its reopening, Canada is reporting near 3,500 new cases per day and has been moved up to Level 3 risk. An increase of 251%.
It is still uncertain what will happen when it opens to all international visitors on September 6.