Another Monday, another quartet of countries upgraded to a Level 4 travel health notice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This week, all four of the new additions are in Europe, reflecting the increasing Covid-19 risk across the continent.
Today the CDC again expanded its list of destinations under Level 4 warnings, adding four new countries: the Czech Republic, Guernsey, Hungary and Iceland. That makes 11 European countries added to the “avoid travel” list in the past four weeks.
The highest of four risk categories, a Level 4 travel health notice signifies that a country is reporting more than 500 new Covid-19 infections per 28 days per 100,000 people. That level of infection is deemed to present a “very high” Covid-19 risk and Americans are warned to “avoid travel,” per CDC guidance.
As of today, 81 countries around the world are at Level 4 on the CDC’s Covid risk map. If the CDC could add its own country — the United States — the tally would be 82.
The latest weekly epidemiological update from the World Health Organization (WHO) reported just over 3 million new cases around the world, which is a 1% increase from the previous week.
Covid Continues to Rise in Europe
Europe continues to see its Covid numbers go in the wrong direction, with a 7% increase in new weekly cases and a 1o% bump in Covid-related deaths as compared to the previous week, per the WHO report.
The European region is seeing Covid-19 infection cases similar to those reported in December 2020. Out of the 61 countries in the region, 26 (42%) reported week-over-week increases.
The more than two dozen European destinations currently under a Level 4 travel health notice include tourism powerhouses such as Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Covid is Riding a Wave in the Caribbean
The Caribbean is still reporting a high number of new Covid cases, and most countries under the CDC’s Level 4 warning. In last week’s report, the WHO report noted a 145% week-over-week jump in new Covid cases in the Cayman Islands and a 21% increase in Puerto Rico.
More than a dozen other Caribbean nations carry the CDC’s “avoid travel” warning, including Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda and both the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. In good news, the Bahamas slid back from Level 4 to Level 3 this week.
Covid Cases Continue to Drop in Asia
The Asia-Pacific region has been among the slowest and most careful in the world when it comes to reopening for tourism. The Southeast Asia region reported a 13% drop in new Covid cases compared to the previous week, according to the WHO report. Notably, there were promising drops in India (down 16%), Thailand (down 9%), and Myanmar (down 16%).
Only a handful of Asian countries have the CDC’s Level 4 designation, including Singapore, Malaysia, the Maldives and Myanmar.
Covid Levels are Persistent in the United States
The United States has been shaded dark red on the CDC’s world map for much of the pandemic. The U.S. is recording 25 new daily cases per 100,000 over a rolling seven-day average, according to the Covid-19 tracker from the Brown School of Public Health. That translates to around 700 new daily cases per 28 days per 100,000 people, well over the CDC’s threshold for Level 4 travel health notice.