Spain, Finland and 6 other countries receive ‘Avoid travel’ warning due to Covid-19

ALast Monday, another group of countries were added to the United States’ “avoid travel” list. Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has elevated eight countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean to a level 4 travel health advisory, reflecting a continued global spread of Covid-19.

Five of the eight new additions to the Tier 4 list are in Europe. These include the main tourist attractions of Spain and Finland, as well as Monaco, San Marino and Monaco. Lebanon, Chad and the Caribbean nation of Bonaire were also added to the Tier 4 list this week.

A level 4 travel health advisory is the highest of the CDC’s risk categories, which means a country is reporting more than 500 new Covid-19 infections every 28 days per 100,000 people. This level of infection is deemed to pose a “very high” risk for Covid-19 and Americans are warned to “avoid travel,” according to CDC guidelines.

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Last week, the CDC added Italy, Greenland and Mauritius to a Level 4 designation. Andorra, Tanzania and Jordan.

To date, 88 countries around the world are at level 4 on the CDC’s Covid-19 risk map. Notably, the United States is also shaded dark red on the CDC’s world map, as it has been during much of the pandemic. The United States is currently registering 40 new cases per 100,000 daily on a seven-day moving average, according to the Brown School of Public Health Covid-19 Tracker. This translates to about 1,120 new daily cases every 28 days per 100,000 people, which is more than double the CDC’s threshold for level 4 travel advisory.

US citizens can travel from the US to Spain as tourists if they show proof of vaccination and present a QR code generated through the Spain Travel Health Portal, obtained through the website or by downloading the SpTH app, available for iPhone and Android.

Earlier this month, the United States also tightened its own testing requirements for international travelers arriving in the country, including returning Americans. All international arrivals, vaccinated and unvaccinated, must provide a negative test for Covid-19 no more than a day before boarding their flight.

Unlike many protocols for international travel, the United States does not have a vaccine requirement or pre-flight test warrant for domestic air travel. There is also no national contact tracing program in place for airline passengers flying to the United States, and no way for Americans traveling in the country to know if they may have been exposed to a another passenger infected with Covid-19.