CDC Removes All Countries From Highest 'Level 4' Travel Warning — What to Know
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has removed all destinations from its highest "Level 4" travel warning, reclassifying many of them as "Level 3."
The move comes days after the agency said it would change how it classifies destinations and warns Americans against travel, reserving "Level 4" for "special circumstances, such as rapidly escalating case trajectory or extremely high case counts, emergence of a new variant of concern, or healthcare infrastructure collapse."
This week, the CDC classified 122 destinations and countries under its "Level 3" warning, by far its largest grouping, which is now used to indicate a "very high" level of COVID-19 transmission. Destinations are classified under "Level 3" if there are more than 100 new cases reported per 100,000 people over the past 28 days, according to the agency.
"Make sure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before traveling to these destinations," the agency wrote in its guidance. "If you are not up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, avoid travel to these destinations."
Going forward, the CDC will use "Level 2" to indicate a "moderate" level of COVID-19 transmission (between 50 and 100 new cases reported per 100,000 people over the past 28 days), while "Level 1" will be used to indicate a "low" level of COVID-19 transmission (less than 50 new cases reported per 100,000 people over the past 28 days).
Many of the destinations that were previously classified under the agency's highest warning level were re-classified as "Level 3," including much of Europe and several popular Caribbean islands. The agency has also classified the U.S. as a "Level 3" country.
The CDC's decision to change how it warns against travel comes as the Transportation Security Administration said it would stop enforcing the federal transportation mask mandate in the United States with several major airlines dropping mask rules as a result.
Still, the U.S. continues to require all international travelers, including U.S. citizens, to get tested within one day of flying to the country.
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.