After what seemed like endless upgrades over the past two years, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is continuing to downgrade destinations on its COVID-19 list.
This time it is almost 25 different destinations, including, most notably, Canada, which was downgraded from Level 4 to Level 3 on Monday.
The Level 3 warning advises travelers to “make sure you are fully vaccinated before traveling to these destinations. Unvaccinated travelers should avoid nonessential travel to these destinations,” which is significantly less harsh than the Level 4 warning, which advises travelers to “avoid travel to these destinations.”
The levels are determined by COVID-19 levels in those destinations—Level 4 destinations include those with more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days; Level 3 includes those with between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.
Other destinations going from Level 4 to Level 3 this week include Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Panama, and St. Lucia.
There is also a slate of countries downgraded from lower levels, such as the Dominican Republic and South Africa, which now both sit at Level 2 (50 to 99 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the past 28 days) along with Jamaica, which is now at Level 1 (less than 50 cases per 100,000 residents over the past 28 days).
Even with all those downgrades, a vast majority of countries that the CDC track are still in Level 4, the highest warning designation, including some significant U.S. outbound destinations such as Australia, Barbados, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and more.
The warning system has been in place since COVID-19 began. TMR’s Paul Ruden wrote on How Travel Advisors Can Approach these warnings, including previous warnings on Canada and on Cruise Ship Travel.