It’s been another busy week in the travel industry. The biggest news is yesterday’s announcement that the CDC has lightened up warnings for international travel. Remember a month ago, they made headlines for their ‘Do Not Travel’ list, which mirrored the State Department’s. Previously, they’d only had Bhutan listed as a Level 1 country. I was more than surprised that only Bhutan had made the safest list.
Before I go on, here’s what the different travel advisory levels mean:
Level 1 This is the safest and means: Exercise normal precautions
Level 2 This means: Exercise increased caution
Level 3 This means: Reconsider travel
Level 4 This is the least safe and the words highlighted in red warn: Do not travel
Prior to yesterday, the CDC had a whopping 150 Level 4 countries out of their list of 209, joining the usuals, like North Korea, Afghanistan and South Sudan. What almost everyone found surprising was that some of the most popular destinations Americans go to, including Mexico, Canada, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados and Bermuda, were listed as Level 4.
Thankfully, the CDC and the U.S. State Department have just updated their Travel Advisories page and fully vaccinated travelers will be happy, although I’m still scratching my head in regards to the State Department’s list:
The State Department warns: “Note that conditions can change rapidly in a country at any time.” It does seem weird that may of the Level 1 countries are in Africa.
Here’s the list of Level 1 countries:
Antigua and Barbuda, Eswatini, French Polynesia, Ghana, Malawi, Malta, Senegal, Singapore, South Korea, The Gambia and Togo.
I can understand Singapore and South Korea but why not New Zealand or Australia? They’re both listed as Level 3. I assume it’s because they’ve been slow at rolling out vaccines but they still have low case numbers and Americans can’t even get in, unless they’re an essential worker like flight crew.
However, there’s better news on the CDC’s list. They now have 56 countries listed as Level 1 (below) and as you can see Australia and New Zealand are on there:
The CDC list is a little bit different from the State Department’s as their risk assessment is as follows:
Level 1: COVID-19 Low
Level 2: COVID-19 Moderate
Level 3: COVID-19 High
Level 4: COVID-19 Very High
Albania, American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Benin, Belize, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cayman Islands, Chad, China, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Dominica, Eswatini, Falkland Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Gambia, Ghana, Greenland, Grenada, Hong Kong SAR, Iceland, Isle of Man, Israel, Laos, Liberia, Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Rwanda, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Singapore, Sint Eustatius, South Korea, Taiwan, Togo, Turks and Caicos Islands, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.
Unfortunately, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom are listed as Level 3 countries.
Here’s the complete list but please keep in mind that this information is constantly changing. The information contained in this post was accurate as of the date of publication (June 9, 2021).
Good to Know!
3 Websites To Cross-Reference Before Traveling Internationally
Before you travel internationally, I recommend that you also consult these three websites.