The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over the weekend added Australia to its Level 4: COVID-19 Very High warning list.
With the addition, the CDC is now alerting Americans to “avoid travel to Australia” and that “if you must travel to Australia, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel.”
“Because of the current situation in Australia, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants,” the warning reads.
Australia is now one of 80-plus destinations that fall into the category. Others include Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and many more. The list is determined by COVID-19 infection numbers at the destination (Level 4 includes countries with more than 500 new cases over the past 28 days per 100,000 population).
Australia is currently in the midst of the highest surge in cases since the pandemic began. According to Worldometers, Australia reported more than 1 million cases on Jan. 23, the second time in 2022 that the country reported more than 1 million new active cases.
While the CDC’s list is simply a recommendation for American travelers, moving those countries to Level 4 raises the level of precautions that the CDC wants travelers to take.
For instance, the CDC is advising travelers who are considering entering Level 4 countries to be fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine or a vaccine authorized by the WHO and to wear a facemask while traveling, social distance during their trip and self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.
If symptoms appear, the CDC is advising travelers to isolate and get tested.
Last week, TMR’s Paul Ruden wrote on How Travel Advisors Can Approach these warnings, including recent warnings on Canada and on Cruise Ship Travel.