Travel plans are back on for many seeking adventures abroad after the pandemic — but experts warn some countries are safer than others when assessing your COVID-19 risk.
An online tool by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers recommendations, or Travel Health Notices, alerting travelers to health and safety threats across the globe. The 4-level system ranks destinations based on reported COVID-19 data.
Level 1 is the lowest coronavirus risk level, while nations in the Level 4 category have a “very high” risk of coronavirus, the CDC said.
“CDC uses COVID-19 data reported by the World Health Organization and other official sources to make determinations about [Travel Health Notice] levels,” according to the agency’s website. “If a destination does not provide data, their THN level is designated as ‘unknown’ and travelers are advised to follow THN Level 4 recommendations.”
Thresholds are also based on the total coronavirus cases and incidence rates in each country.
So what’s your COVID risk when traveling abroad? It depends where you’re going.
Level 1: Low level of COVID-19
Travelers are encouraged to get the vaccine before visiting these destinations. They include:
- Cayman Islands
- New Zealand
Level 4: Very high level of COVID-19
Travelers should avoid unnecessary travel to these destinations. They include:
- British Virgin Islands
- Costa Rica
- French Guiana
- The Netherlands
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
While abroad, the CDC encourages travelers to continue to continue mask wearing, social distancing and frequent hand washing. Also, it’s important to remember that all air passengers, including U.S. citizens, must have a negative COVID-19 test before boarding a flight back to the U.S.