CDC adds Japan and Israel to ‘very high’ COVID risk category, warns travelers to ‘avoid’ 130+ countries

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Federal health officials are warning Americans to avoid Japan, Israel and more than 130 other countries – regardless of vaccination status – because of high counts of COVID-19 cases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday moved Japan, Israel, Cuba, Armenia, Libya, Oman and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to its level 4 category, the highest travel health notice tier, for their “very high” COVID-19 risk.

“Avoid travel to these destinations,” the CDC says on its website. “If you must travel to these destinations, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel.”

Larger countries are considered to have very high COVID-19 risk when they report more than 500 cases of new cases per 100,000 people over the past 28 days. 

CDC LEVEL 4 WARNING:The CDC warns US travelers to avoid more than 100 countries. Do people care?

Level 4 now includes 133 countries, including popular destinations like CanadaMexico, the Bahamas and the United Kingdom.  

Other changes to the CDC’s travel health notice page include:

•Bangladesh, Montserrat and South Africa are now listed as level 3 destinations, with “high” COVID-19 risk. The CDC says travelers should be fully vaccinated before traveling to these destinations and suggests unvaccinated travelers avoid nonessential travel there.

•Pakistan is considered to have “moderate” COVID-19 risk after moving to level 2 on Monday. The CDC says travelers should be fully vaccinated before traveling to level 2 destinations and warns unvaccinated travelers who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 to avoid nonessential travel to these areas.

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