CDC: Philippines now ‘high’ travel risk for Covid

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(CNN) — The CDC on Monday added three new destinations to its high-risk list for Covid-19, including an Asian Pacific island nation popular with tourists for its stunning beaches.

The Philippines, a country of 7,000 tropical islands with stunning ocean scenery, delicious cuisine and people renowned for their hospitality, joins Russia and mountain trekker-favorite Nepal in the “high” risk group, also known as level 3.

Locations at Tier 3 now account for nearly 130 of the approximately 235 locations monitored by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – more than half of all lists.

The designation applies to places that have had more than 100 cases per 100,000 population in the past 28 days. Levels 2 and 1 are considered “moderate” and “low” risk respectively.

As a reminder, these three destinations were added to level 3 on August 15:

• Nepal
• The Philippines
• Russia

Level 4, previously the highest risk category, is now reserved only for special circumstances, such as an extremely high number of cases, the emergence of a new variant of concern or the collapse of healthcare infrastructure. health. Under the new system, no destinations have been placed at Tier 4 so far.

Learn more about level 3

Much of Europe has been stubbornly lodged in Level 3 for months, with the summer travel season now plunged into a traditionally busy August. The following popular European destinations were among those remaining at Tier 3 as of August 15:

• France
• Germany
• Greece
• Ireland
• Italy
• The Netherlands
• Norway
• Portugal
• Spain
• UK

The ruins of Tulum, Mexico overlook the Caribbean Sea in Mexico, which is still level 3.

Stock Jesse Kraft/Adobe

These aren’t the only high-profile locations that fall into Level 3. Many other destinations around the world fall into the “high” risk category, including:

• Brazil
• Canada
•Costa Rica
• Malaysia
• Mexico
• South Korea
• Thailand
• Turkey

The CDC advises that you get up to date with your Covid-19 vaccines before traveling to a Tier 3 destination. are eligible.

Level 2

This is the lush island of Principe, which is part of São Tomé and Príncipe.  This island nation sits in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Gabon in <a class=Africa and was moved to Tier 2 this week.”/>

This is the lush island of Principe, which is part of São Tomé and Príncipe. This island nation sits in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Gabon in Africa and was moved to Tier 2 this week.

Anna/Adobe Stock

Destinations with the designation “Tier 2: Moderate Covid-19” have reported 50 to 100 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 population in the past 28 days.

The CDC designated just one new Tier 2 seat on Monday: Sao Tome and Principe, a beautiful little group of islands off the coast of West Africa and off the radar of most tourists. He went from level 1.

There are only 18 locations listed at Level 2 this week. Some of the most visited places in this category are India, Kenya, and South Africa.

In its broader travel advice, the CDC recommends being up to date with your vaccines before traveling abroad.

Level 1

To be listed as “Tier 1: Covid-19 Low”, a destination must have registered 49 or fewer new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 28 days. No new locations were added to the category on August 15.

Nearly 25 places were in the “low” risk category this week. Cuba, Egypt and Tanzania are among the most popular places for world travelers in the low-risk category this week.

Unknown

Finally, there are the destinations the CDC has deemed “unknown” risk due to a lack of information. Usually, but not always, these are small, remote places or places where war or unrest is going on.

Two new destinations have been added this week:

• Comoros
• Guinea-Bissau

Both African nations were previously at Tier 1.

The CDC advises against travel to these places precisely because the risks are unknown. Other destinations in this category that generally attract more attention from tourists include Hungary and Vietnam.

There are more than 65 locations listed as “unknown” this week, representing more than a quarter of all locations monitored.

Medical expert weighs in on risk levels

Transmission rates are just a “benchmark” for travelers’ personal risk calculations, according to CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen.

We have entered “a phase of the pandemic where people have to make their own decisions based on their medical situation as well as their risk tolerance when it comes to contracting Covid-19,” said Wen, who is an emergency physician and professor. in Health Policy and Management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.

There are other factors to weigh in addition to transmission rates, according to Wen.

“Another is what precautions are needed and followed where you are going, and then the third is what you plan to do once there,” she said.

“Are you planning on visiting a lot of attractions and going to indoor bars? It’s very different from going somewhere where you plan to lay on the beach all day and not interact with anyone outside. “other. It’s very different. It’s 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 think about what you would do if you became positive outside of your home.

While travelers to the United States no longer have to present a negative Covid-19 test to return home from international destinations, the CDC still advises getting tested before boarding flights back to the States States and not to travel if you are sick.
“Of course, if people have symptoms or are exposed while traveling, they should get tested and, if positive, follow CDC’s isolation guidelines,” Wen told CNN Travel recently.
If you are concerned about a travel-specific health situation not related to Covid-19, check here.

Top Image: Hidden Beach on Matinloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines. (Simon Dannhauer/Adobe Stock)

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