CDC Lowers Travel Warning for Canada, Caribbean Destinations

Many tourist-favorite countries have been downgraded to "Level 3" by the CDC.

Photo: Yu Ruidong/China News Service via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lowered its warning against traveling to several countries this week, including some popular tourist destinations like Canada and Saint Lucia.

Overall, the agency reclassified 14 destinations as "Level 3," indicating a "high" level of COVID-19 transmission, but not telling people to avoid traveling there altogether. Each of these destinations was previously classified as "Level 4."

The destinations now designated as a "Level 3'' are: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Iran, Libya, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Lucia, and Suriname.

The CDC considers a destination "Level 3" if there are 100 to 500 cases reported per 100,000 people over the past 28 days. The agency recommends people are "vaccinated and up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before traveling" to destinations listed as "Level 3" and "avoid" traveling there if they are not.

While 96 destinations remain classified under "Level 4," the CDC didn't add any new places to its highest travel warning this week.

Pigeon Beach in Saint Lucia as seen from Fort Rodney
DANIEL SLIM/Getty Images

The lower warning comes as countries all around the world have begun to roll back COVID-19-related border measures, including in Canada, where the country eliminated the need to take a pre-arrival test for vaccinated travelers. Similarly, Belize also lifted pre-travel testing for vaccinated visitors, according to the Belize Tourism Board, but requires travelers to purchase an official travel insurance policy.

And several countries classified as "Level 4" have dropped pandemic-related restrictions completely, like Sweden, Iceland, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

Still, all international travelers entering the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to get tested within one day of flying to the country, regardless of their vaccination status.

Last week, the CDC also dropped its warning against cruise ship travel in the U.S. for the first time in two years. The agency now recommends all travelers are "up to date" with their COVID-19 vaccination before boarding a cruise.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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