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Covid-19: Which are the riskiest destinations according to the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention

COVID-19 AND TRAVEL | If you are considering a stay in Reunion or the Isle of Man, it would be wise to change your plans. Indeed, the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has classified these two destinations, and 75 others, in category 4 “very high covid-19 risk”. This category is the highest of the classification established by the CDC. Here are the destinations to avoid right now.

The CDC’s COVID-19 risk classification

  • Category 4 “very high covid-19 risk” (brown)

On its website, the CDC indicates that destinations classified in this category are to be avoided and “if you must go to one of these destinations, make sure you are fully vaccinated before the trip. »

  • Category 3 “high covid-19 risk” (red)

For these destinations, the CDC advises to “ensure you are fully immunized before traveling to these destinations. Unvaccinated travelers should avoid non-essential travel to these destinations. »

  • Category 2 “moderate covid-19 risk” (orange)

According to the CDC, “make sure you are fully immunized before traveling to these destinations. Unvaccinated travelers who are at high risk of developing severe symptoms following covid-19 infection should avoid non-essential travel to these destinations. This category includes 19 destinations such as Australia, South Korea, Egypt, Czech Republic, Romania and Singapore.

  • Category 1 “low covid-19 risk” (yellow)

For these destinations, the CDC recommends to “ensure that you are fully vaccinated before traveling there. This is the category of destinations where the covid-19 risk is the lowest. This category includes 30 destinations, including Djibouti, Hong Kongthe Hungary, Madagascarthe New Zealand and Taiwan.

Regardless of category, the CDC recommends a full vaccination before traveling. Forbes invites you to review the destinations currently listed in category 4, region by region.

South Pacific

Barrigada, Guam. | Source: Getty Images

The South Pacific region has four destinations where the covid-19 risk is very high: Guam, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and French Polynesia. By the end of July, Guam had managed to fully vaccinate at least 80% of its adult population, thus allowing the island territory to move to category 3. However, the relaxation of certain sanitary measures has led to a new wave of contamination. in August, prompting the CDC to revert Guam to Category 4.

East Asia

Only one destination in East Asia falls into category 4, and that is the Mongolia. Regarding North Korea, the CDC does not have any data and the country is therefore classified in the “unknown level” category.

South East Asia

Southeast Asia has four destinations classified in category 4: Bruneithe Malaysiathe myanmar and the Thailand. Brunei moved into this category on September 7th.

South Asia

the Bangladeshithe Maldivesthe Nepal and the Sri Lanka are currently in category 4. The Sri Lanka moved into this category on September 7th.

Central Asia

In late August, the CDC passed Azerbaijan in category 4. The country thus joins the Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyzstan.

Middle East

L’Saudi Arabia, iran, iraq, Israelthe Kuwait and the Lebanon are in category 4. Over the last 28 bears, Iran has had the fourth highest number of recorded covid-19 cases in the world (at 899,528).

Eastern Europe and Western Asia

In this region, five destinations present a very high covid-19 risk: the Georgiathe Kosovothe North Macedoniathe Montenegro and the Turkey.

European Union (EU)

The CDC classifies seven EU countries in category 4: Spain, Estonia, France, Greece, irelandIceland and Portugal. The EU is also not keen on the idea of ​​American tourists traveling to its member states. On August 30, the EU announced that it recommended avoiding all non-essential travel from the United States. This recommendation was not binding, and it was up to each country to decide how to proceed. Some Member States follow this recommendation, this is the case of France since September 12: the French authorities now impose stricter restrictions on unvaccinated American travelers who try to enter its territory.

Separately, Spain only allows entry of tourists from the United States if they are fully vaccinated and can provide a valid covid-19 vaccination card as proof.


The Swiss is also classified as category 4. In the past 28 days, the country has recorded 72,683 cases of covid-19 and 144 virus-related deaths. The CDC moved Switzerland into the highest risk category at the end of August.

The United Kingdom

Since the start of the pandemic, the UK is one of the most seriously affected countries. According to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, the UK has recorded the third highest number of covid-19 cases in the world in the past 28 days (960,765), behind the US and India. Just like the UK, the CDC classifies Jersey as Category 4.

North Africa

The African continent has 13 category 4 destinations, including three in North Africa: Libyathe Morocco and the Tunisia. Libya has been in this category since early August. The CDC upgraded Morocco to category 3 in early August, then to category 4 on August 23.

East Africa

Burundi, the Seychellesthe Somalia and the South Sudan are at very high covid-19 risk. Pandemic or not, it is still not recommended to travel to South Sudan. On June 17, the US State Department warned travelers against the various violent crimes committed in the country (carjackings, shootings, ambushes, assaults, thefts, kidnapping, armed conflicts and cattle raids). Remember to check the recommendations of your embassy before leaving for any country.

central Africa

Two countries in this region are in category 4: the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These two countries are also subject to specific security recommendations by the US State Department.

Southern Africa

South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini and Lesotho are considered category 4 destinations. A new variant of covid-19 (variant C.1.2) has been detected in South Africa. Researchers have not yet determined the extent of the threat posed by this variant. So far, the World Health Organization (WHO) has not listed the C.1.2 variant as an interesting or concerning strain of the virus. Nevertheless, it proves that the situation in South Africa is far from being under control.

South America

Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. | Source: Getty Images

In South America, five destinations are considered high risk: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana and Suriname. Brazil is the third country in the world to have recorded the highest number of covid-19 deaths in the past 28 days (17,984), after Russia (21,772) and the United States.

central America

In this region, two countries are classified in category 4: Costa Rica and Panama. Costa Rica has been in this category since May and Panama since July.


If you are planning a stay in the Caribbean, avoid Aruba, the Bahamas, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Haiti, US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St. Barthelemy, St. Lucia, Sint-Maarten and St. Martin. The CDC passed the Jamaica in category 4 on September 7.

North America

Although no U.S. states are in Category 4, the United States appears in brown on the CDC map. This is explained by the fact that since the beginning of 2020, the United States has presented very worrying indicators. The country leads in the total number of covid-19 cases (40,885,507) and pandemic-related deaths (659,173). In the past 28 days, the United States has recorded more covid-19 cases (4,266,276) and virus-related deaths (37,793) than any other country in the world.

Article translated from Forbes US – Author: Bruce Y. Lee

<<< Read also: Covid-19: Africa will receive 25% fewer doses of vaccines than planned, according to WHO >>>

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