(CNN) — TThe US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put a Scandinavian travel favorite on its list of “high” risks for Covid-19, along with two other places.
The three destinations added to the list on Tuesday represent three continents:
Level 3, or ‘high’, is now the highest rung in terms of risk level and applies to places with more than 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 28 days. Level 2 and Level 1 are considered “moderate” and “low” risk, respectively.
All three newcomers to Level 3 on Tuesday were previously at Level 2.
As of July 5, there were nearly 115 Level 3 destinations. Level 3 locations account for nearly half of the approximately 235 places monitored by the CDC.
Level 4, previously the highest risk category, is now only reserved for special circumstances, such as extremely high numbers of cases, the emergence of a new care variant or the collapse of the care infrastructure. No destinations have been placed at level 4 under the new system so far.
More at level 3
The village of Oia on the island of Santorini is a favorite tourist spot in Greece, which remains at level 3 of the CDC.
Francesco Riccardo Iacomino/Moment RF/Getty Images
Much of Europe has been stubbornly stuck at Level 3 for months with the summer travel season in full swing. On July 5, the following popular European destinations belonged to level 3:
• The Netherlands
• United Kingdom
Those aren’t the only high-profile spots that are on Level 3. Numerous other destinations around the world fall into the “high” risk category, including the following:
• Costa Rica
• South Korea
Baalbek is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Lebanon, which has been raised to the CDC’s “moderate” risk category.
Luis Dafos/Moment RF/Getty Images
Destinations labeled “Level 2: Covid-19 Moderate” reported 50 to 100 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past 28 days. The CDC moved up three places to this level on Tuesday:
• North Macedonia
The move was not good news for Jordan and Lebanon in the Middle East, which were at Level 1. For North Macedonia in the European Balkans, the move was in a positive direction, having previously been at Level 3.
There are 20 places in the “moderate” risk category this week.
To be listed as “Level 1: Covid-19 Low”, a destination must have had 49 or fewer new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 28 days. Only two small island destinations were added to the category on July 5.
• Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Saba, in the Caribbean, was on Level 2. Saint Pierre and Miquelon, a French archipelago south of Newfoundland, Canada, had been on Level 3.
Some of the more popular places in the “low” risk category this week include Indonesia, India and the Philippines.
The Hungarian Parliament is seen through the arches of the Fisherman’s Bastion in Budapest. The CDC warns against traveling to places where the Covid-19 risk is “unknown.”
Alexander Spatari/Moment RF/Getty Images
Finally, there are the destinations that the CDC has deemed an “unknown” risk due to a lack of information. Usually, but not always, these are small, remote places or places of ongoing war or unrest. Four places have been added to this category this week:
Haiti, Iran and Mozambique were all at Level 1 last week. Hungary, a favorite stop on the Eastern European travel circuit, was at Level 3.
The CDC advises against traveling to these places precisely because the risks are unknown. Other destinations in this category that tend to attract more tourist attention are French Polynesia, Macau and the Maldives.
A medical expert weighs in on risk levels
Transmission rates are just “one guideline” for travelers’ personal risk assessments, according to CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen.
We have entered “a phase in the pandemic where people have to make their own decisions based on their medical conditions and their risk tolerance when it comes to contracting Covid-19,” Wen, an emergency physician and professor of health policy and management, said. the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.
According to Wen, there are other factors to consider in addition to transmission speeds.
“Another is what precautions are required and followed in the place you go and the third is what you plan to do when you get there,” she said.
“Do you plan to visit a lot of attractions and go to indoor bars? That’s quite different from going somewhere where you plan to lie on the beach all day and not interact with anyone else. That’s a lot.” different. very different levels of risk.”
Vaccination is the most important safety factor for travel, as unvaccinated travelers are more likely to get sick and transmit Covid-19 to others, Wen said.
And it’s also important to consider what you would do if you tested positive outdoors.
Top image: The island of Tjorn off the west coast of Sweden. (Peter Adams/Stone RF/Getty Images)