With the holiday season approaching, Germany and its traditional Christmas markets get hit with the CDC’s Level 4 travel health notice.
This week two more major European tourist destinations — Germany and Denmark — were upgraded to a Level 4 travel health notice by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Following a persistent trend in recent weeks, the new additions reflect the increasing Covid-19 risk across Europe.
Last week, the CDC expanded its list of destinations under Level 4 warnings to include the Czech Republic, Guernsey, Hungary and Iceland. All told, 13 European countries were added to the United States’ “avoid travel” list in the past four weeks.
The highest of four risk categories, a Level 4 travel health notice signifies that a country is reporting more than 500 new Covid-19 infections per 28 days per 100,000 people. That level of infection is deemed to present a “very high” Covid-19 risk and Americans are warned to “avoid travel,” per CDC guidance.
As of today, 76 countries around the world are at Level 4 on the CDC’s Covid risk map. Notably, if the CDC could add its own country — the United States — the tally would be 77.
The latest weekly epidemiological update from the World Health Organization (WHO) reported just over 3.3 million new cases around the world, which is a 6% increase from the previous week.
Covid Continues to Rise in Europe
Europe continues to see an increasing trend in Covid-19 cases and deaths, with 8% and 5% increases, respectively, since the WHO’s last weekly report.
The European region is seeing Covid-19 infection cases similar to those reported during last year’s holiday season. Out of the 61 countries in the region, nearly half (46%) reported double-digit week-over-week increases. Notably, Germany reported a 50% increase in new cases as compared to the week before.
The more than two dozen European destinations currently under a Level 4 travel health notice include tourism powerhouses such as Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Covid is Still Riding a Wave in the Caribbean
The Caribbean continues to report a high number of new Covid cases, with many countries under the CDC’s Level 4 warning.
About a dozen other Caribbean nations carry the CDC’s “avoid travel” warning, including Barbados, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, and both the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. In good news, Aruba slid back from Level 4 to Level 3 this week.
Covid Cases Are Flattening in Asia
Last week, the Southeast Asia region reported a 13% drop in new Covid cases compared to the previous week, according to the WHO report. This week, the numbers have flattened in the area. Notably, there were promising drops in Thailand (down 19%), and Sri Lanka (down 23%).
Only a handful of Asian countries have the CDC’s Level 4 designation, including Singapore, Malaysia, the Maldives and Myanmar.
Covid Levels are Rising in the United States
The United States has been shaded dark red on the CDC’s world map for much of the pandemic. The U.S. is recording 28 new daily cases per 100,000 over a rolling seven-day average, according to the Covid-19 tracker from the Brown School of Public Health. That translates to around 784 new daily cases per 28 days per 100,000 people, well over the CDC’s threshold for Level 4 travel health notice.