(CNN) — The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put five places in Europe — including one of the world’s biggest tourism powerhouses — on its list of destinations for “very high” Covid-19 travel risk.
France and four of its European neighbors moved to Level 4, the CDC’s highest-risk category, on Monday. France was the world’s top destination for international tourist arrivals pre-pandemic, according to 2019 figures from the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
Two other places — one in the Middle East, the other in East Africa — were also moved to Level 4. Those seven nations are:
Customers have health passes checked before entering the traditional Christmas market in Strasbourg, France, on December 4, 2021.
Frederick Florin/AFP via Getty Images
Destinations that fall into the CDC’s “Covid-19 Very High” Level 4 category have had more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.
People should avoid traveling to locations designated with a “Level 4” notice, the CDC recommends. Anyone who must travel should be fully vaccinated first, the agency advises.
“Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread Covid-19. However, international travel poses additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers might be at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading some Covid-19 variants,” the agency said.
All of these European destinations, plus Jordan in the Middle East, had previously been considered “high” risk at Level 3. Previously, safari favorite Tanzania had been rated “unknown” for lack of reliable information.
Concerns: Covid surge in Europe and Omicron
The Level 4 announcement comes as two troubling fronts continue to develop in the pandemic.
Other nations on Level 4
While Europe is hard hit, it isn’t the only region with popular tourist destinations on Level 4. Among the other places also considered at “very high” risk for travel are:
• Cayman Islands
In all, more than 80 countries were rated Level 4 as of December 6.
News from Level 3
Empty roads in Bogota, Colombia, on March 20, 2020. Colombia moved to the CDC’s “high” risk category on Monday.
RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
The Level 3 category — which applies to destinations that have had between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days — had four updates this week, all in the Caribbean basin.
The four places moved to Level 3 were:
• Saint Kitts and Nevis
The move was a positive development for the islands of Cuba, Grenada and Saint Kitts and Nevis, which had been at level 4. It’s a move in the wrong direction for South America’s Colombia, which previously had been at Level 2.
New entries on Level 2
Destinations carrying the “Level 2: Covid-19 Moderate” designation have seen 50 to 99 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.
It has five new entries this week. They are:
• Cape Verde
• São Tomé and Príncipe
Level 1 and unknown
The small African nation of Djibouti moved to Level 1 and had previously been at Level 2.
“Level 1: Covid-19 Low” destinations log fewer than 50 new cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.
Finally, there are destinations for which the CDC has an “unknown” risk because of a lack of information. As of December 6, that list included Algeria, Cambodia, Macau and Monaco, among others.
Top image: The sun sets on the Eiffel Tower and the river Seine in this picture taken on October 19, 2021, in Paris. (Photo by Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images)
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