CDC Adds France, Israel, Iceland, More to Highest 'Level 4' COVID-19 Travel Warning
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added seven more destinations to its highest "Level 4" COVID-19 travel warning, including European vacation spots like France and Iceland.
The advisory warns Americans against traveling to destinations with high levels of COVID-19 and tells them if they must, "make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel." The agency, which has added many destinations to the list in recent weeks, considers a destination to have a "very high" level of transmission if at least 500 cases are recorded per 100,000 people.
In addition to France, Iceland and Israel, Aruba, Eswatini, French Polynesia, and Thailand are also newly-designated a 'Level 4' by the CDC.
Many nations have begun to implement restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus while continuing to welcome U.S. tourists, like Thailand, which has implemented strict controls over much of the country, but continues to operate its Phuket Sandbox program welcoming vaccinated travelers.
Additionally, France welcomes American travelers who are either fully vaccinated or test negative for coronavirus. The country has also implemented a COVID-19 digital health pass to access popular attractions like the Eiffel Tower. On Monday, the country started requiring people to use the digital pass to enter a restaurant and travel by plane or train, according to the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in France.
That brings up a tricky situation for U.S. tourists as there is currently no official way for Americans to convert their CDC-issued vaccination cards into a French QR code. Unofficially, French doctors and pharmacists can enter foreign vaccination information into the French system, but the embassy said many are unwilling to do so.
France has seen several straight weeks of over 100,000 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization. Overall, 66.6% of residents have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and 50.5% are fully vaccinated, according to Reuters, which is tracking vaccinations around the world.
For its part, the U.S. continues to restrict non-essential travel for non-U.S. citizens from several destinations, including from the European Union. The White House has indicated that policy likely won't change just yet, citing the spread of the highly contagious delta variant, but is working on a plan to potentially welcome fully-vaccinated travelers.
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, including Puerto Rico and Guam, are exempt.
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.