CDC Now Advises Americans to 'Avoid' Travel to Italy
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised Italy to its highest warning level this week, the latest European country to be classified as a "Level 4."
The agency, which updates its list on a weekly basis, is warning Americans to "avoid" traveling to Italy due to a "very high" level of COVID-19 transmission, however, those who do travel should be fully vaccinated.
Italy welcomes travelers from the United States who are either fully vaccinated or have recently contracted COVID-19 and recovered. Travelers also need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arriving in the country, according to the National Tourist Board.
"Because of the current situation in Italy, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants," the CDC wrote.
Destinations experiencing more than 500 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over the last 28 days are classified as a "Level 4" by the CDC. On Monday, Italy reported 98 COVID-19-related deaths, up from 66 the day before, Reuters reported, citing the country's health ministry. But daily new infections fell to 12,712 from 19,215.
In total, the CDC now classifies 84 destinations under its highest "Level 4" travel warning.
In addition to Italy, the agency raised both Greenland and Mauritius, an island off the coast of eastern Africa, to the highest warning level this week.
The update comes as the omicron variant continues to circulate around the globe, prompting countries to tighten their border restrictions to prevent additional spread. Last week, for example, the U.S. started requiring all international travelers, including U.S. citizens, to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within one day of their flight, regardless of their vaccination status.
Similarly, the United Kingdom is now requiring travelers to show a negative pre-arrival COVID-19 test in addition to getting tested after arriving in the country. And France is now requiring all visitors from outside the European Union to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours of boarding a flight.
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.