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South African countries join CDC’s list of ‘very high’ travel risks


(CNN) – Eight countries in southern Africa – seven new plus one ownership – are listed at the CDC’s highest level of travel risk for Covid-19. The countries are under many worldwide travel bans because of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked seven of them at Level 4 (highest travel risk) on November 27, a day after President Joe Biden issued its statement on the travel ban.

Those destinations are:

Eswatini
Lesotho
Malawi
Mozambican
Namibia
South Africa
Zimbabwe

The eighth country in that group – Botswana – has been on a Level 4 travel alert since July 6.

However, the South African countries were added to Level 4 and included in Biden’s travel ban because of Omicron, not their case number.

“Travel restrictions are in place due to concerns about the Omicron variant and the unknowns surrounding the variant,” the CDC said in an email to CNN Travel on Monday afternoon. “There is enough evidence to take action to limit travel and slow the spread of the variant, while learning more about the extent of threat posed by this variant.”

Other CDC risk levels:

Level 1 is “low risk” with less than 50 new cases per 100,000 residents who have logged in in the last 28 days.

Level 2 is “medium risk” with 50 to 99 new cases per 100,000 residents in the last 28 days.

Level 3 is “high risk” with 100 to 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.

Before news of the Omicron variant swept the world, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe were at Tier 1. Namibia at Tier 2, and Lesotho at Tier 3.

Those South African countries are the only CDC changes for November 27 update prompted by Omicron. Due to the holiday period, CDC said they have no other updates for Monday but will update its list Later next week.

Other countries at Level 4

Singapore is one of the Level 4 destinations.

Singapore is one of the Level 4 destinations.

Image ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP / AFP / Getty

The eight destinations in southern Africa are hardly alone on Level 4. Before the Omicron alarm sounded last weekend, much of the focus of Covid-19 had been on the rise in cases in Europe. Europe.

Some popular tourist attractions in Europe – and elsewhere in the world – remained at Level 4 on Monday including:

• Shirt
• Barbados
• Belgium
• Costa Rica
• Czech Republic
• Iceland
• Netherlands
• Singapore
Switzerland
• Turkey

In total, more than 80 destinations are currently at Level 4.

Should I stay or should I go?

One question that’s constantly on our minds: How should I think about Omicron in terms of travel safety?

There’s still a lot scientists don’t know about the new coronavirus variant, but the best thing people can do right now is get vaccinated, According to Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Vaccination is essential for two reasons, he said.

The first is the Delta variant. “It’s the virus that’s here, right now, in every community and spreading,” Schaffner said. “But number 2, and this relates to Omicron, it’s likely that our vaccine will provide at least partial protection. And partial protection is always better than no protection.”

Another necessary safety measure is still to wear a mask when you go out in public.

Schaffner’s advice for traveling is largely the same as it was before the new variant was discovered.

Make sure you’re vaccinated, wear a mask, socially distance as much as possible while you’re traveling, and consider carefully what you’ll do when you get there, which can put you at even more risk. the journey itself.

Item level 3

The Level 3 category has five Updated last week, with a big screening in the Caribbean. These five destinations moved up to Level 3 on November 22nd.

• Aruba
• Citrus wine
• Guadeloupe
• Israeli
• US Virgin Islands

This move is actually good news for all five destinations, which are already at Level 4. You can see the CDC’s exposure to global destinations above. travel recommendation page.
In it wider travel guide, CDC has recommended avoiding all international travel until you are fully immunized.

“Completely vaccinated travelers are less likely to contract and spread Covid-19,” the agency said. However, international travel carries an additional risk, and even travelers who have been vaccinated. Fully vaccinated may also increase the risk of contracting and possibly spreading some variants of Covid-19.”

Top image: A surfer carries his board as he crosses the frigid waters of the ocean near Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Marco Longari/AFP via Getty Images)

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