CDC Adds Greece, U.S. Virgin Islands, More to Its Highest COVID-19 Warning Level
The CDC added over a dozen countries and territories to its "Level 4: Very High" risk list.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added several destinations to its highest warning level on Monday, including popular vacation spots like Greece, Ireland, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and St. Barts.
A total of 16 destinations were added to its highest "Level 4: Very High" advisory level. Countries and territories with the new designation are Andorra, Curaçao, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Iran, Ireland, Isle of Man, Kazakhstan, Lesotho, Libya, Malta, Martinique, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Destinations are classified as a "Level 4" if there are 500 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people.
"International travel poses additional risks and even fully vaccinated travelers are at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading new COVID-19 variants," the agency warns. "CDC recommends delaying international travel until you are fully vaccinated."
Crackdowns have already begun in Greece, which opened to American tourists in May and has reported more than 18,000 new cases each week for the past several weeks, according to the World Health Organization. Last month, Mykonos implemented a curfew and banned music in restaurants, cafes, and clubs. And the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has warned against visiting the country's south Aegean islands, including Mykonos and Santorini, Reuters reported.
So far, about 53.4% of Greece's population has received at least one dose of a vaccine and 48.5% are fully vaccinated, according to Reuters, which is tracking vaccines around the globe.
Several countries have opened to American tourists around the world, but the U.S. continues to restrict non-essential travel for non-U.S. citizens from several destinations, including from the United Kingdom and the European Union. The White House has indicated that policy likely won't change just yet.
All travelers who do fly into the U.S. from an international destination are required to get tested within three days of boarding a flight, regardless of their vaccination status. U.S. territories — Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands — are exempt from return testing requirements.
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.