The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday moved four new destinations into its “high” COVID-19 risk level, including two favorites of North American Tourists.
Antigua and Barbuda, Lesotho, South Africa, and Taiwan are all now categorized as Level 3: High, the CDC’s highest warning level outside of its “Special Circumstances” list that is currently empty.
“Make sure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before traveling to these destinations. If you are not up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, avoid travel to these destinations,” the CDC’s level 3 warning reads.
Antigua and Barbuda is currently allowing fully vaccinated travelers to enter without restrictions unless they show symptoms of COVID-19 infection, and partially or unvaccinated passengers to enter with either a PCR test taken no more than 3 days prior to arrival or a Rapid Antigen Test taken no more than 24 hours prior to arrival.
South Africa is also currently open—the country is allowing fully vaccinated travelers to enter without restriction and those who cannot provide proof of vaccination to enter with a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel.
For proof of vaccination, South Africa is currently not accepting paper vaccination records—all travelers coming into South Africa need to have a QR code through the CDC’s Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) or a medical provider. The South African embassy said that all travelers should contact their vaccination provider or local health department for guidance on getting a QR code if they are unable to get one from VAMS.
All four countries join the majority of destinations currently monitored by the CDC in Level 3 including France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the U.K., and more. Those countries have all been on the Level 3 list since the CDC moved to its new monitoring system last month.
Under that new system, Level 4 is now reserved 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,” according to the CDC.