By Forrest Brown and Marnie Hunter, CNN

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has listed five places in Europe – including one of the world’s largest tourism powers – on its list of “very high” Covid-19 travel risk destinations.

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 before the pandemic, according to 2019 figures from the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

Two other locations – one in the Middle East, the other in East Africa – were also moved to level 4. These seven nations are:

• Andorra
• Cyprus
• France
• Jordan
• Liechtenstein
• Portugal
• Tanzania

Destinations that fall into the CDC’s Level 4 “Very High Covid-19” category have recorded more than 500 cases per 100,000 population in the past 28 days.

People should avoid going to places designated with a “level 4” notice, recommends the CDC. Anyone who needs to travel should first be fully vaccinated, the agency advises.

In his broader travel advice, the CDC has recommended avoiding all international travel until you are fully immunized.

Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to contract and spread Covid-19. However, international travel poses additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers may be at increased risk of contracting and possibly spreading certain variants of Covid-19. “the agency said.

All of these European destinations, as well as Jordan in the Middle East, were previously rated “high risk” at level 3. Previously, safari favorite Tanzania was rated “unknown” for lack of reliable information.

Concerns: wave of Covid in Europe and Omicron

The Level 4 announcement comes as two troubling fronts continue to develop during the pandemic.

Second, the world is watching with anxiety the latest worrying variant of the coronavirus, called Omicron.

Although Europe is hit hard, it is not the only region with popular tourist destinations at level 4. Other places also rated as ‘very high’ for travel include:

• Barbados
• Cayman Islands
• Malaysia
• Singapore
• Turkey

In total, more than 80 countries were classified at level 4 on December 6.

The level 3 category – which applies to destinations that have had between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 population in the past 28 days – had four updates this week, all in the Caribbean Basin.

The four places moved to level 3 were:

• Colombia
• Cuba
• Grenada
• Saint Kitts and Nevis

This decision was a positive development for the islands of Cuba, Grenada and Saint Kitts and Nevis, which were at level 4. It is a step in the wrong direction for Colombia from South America, which was previously at level 2.

Destinations with the designation “Level 2: Moderate Covid-19” have recorded 50 to 99 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 28 days.

It has five new entries this week. They are:

Bahrain
• Green cap
• Fiji
• Mali
• Sao Tome and Principe

The West African nation of Mali was previously at level 1, but the rest of the group was at level 3. This drop was good news for Fiji, which has reopened to international tourists on December 1 for the first time since the closure in March 2020.

The small African nation of Djibouti upgraded to level 1 and was previously level 2.

“Level 1: Low Covid-19” destinations have recorded less than 50 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the past 28 days.

Finally, there are destinations for which the CDC has an “unknown” risk due to a lack of information. As of December 6, this list included Algeria, Cambodia, Macao and Monaco, among others.

The-CNN-Wire
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Top image: The sun sets over the Eiffel Tower and the Seine in this photo taken on October 19, 2021 in Paris. (Photo by Ludovic Marin / AFP via Getty Images)