Top image: A view of the left bank of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. (Photo by STR / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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By Forrest Brown, CNN

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added just one new location to their list of “very high” travel destinations this week.

On Monday afternoon, the architecturally rich Ukraine, the second largest nation in Europe by land area, went from level 3, or “high” risk for Covid-19, to level 4, the highest risk category of the agency.

This is the second week in a row that the CDC has only moved a new nation to Level 4. Last week it was the modern city-state of Singapore.

These last two October updates are a far cry from where it was in early August, when the CDC added 16 destinations in one week to level 4, and Delta variant cases were increasing rapidly across much of the planet.

Destinations that fall into the Level 4 “Very High Covid-19” category have recorded more than 500 cases per 100,000 population in the past 28 days, according to CDC criteria.

Popular favorites remaining at level 4

Popular international vacation spots have remained on this highest alert level, evidence of the continuing hold of Covid-19. The current list of Tier 4 destinations includes:

• Austria
• Bahamas
• Botswana
• Croatia
• Greece
• Ireland
• Jamaica
• Maldives
• Switzerland
• Thailand
• Turkey
• UK

In the case of the United Kingdom, it has been housed at level 4 since July 19. Greece has been there since August 2. Thailand has been there since August 9.

A total of 77 destinations around the world were still at Level 4 as of October 25.

Lots of new entrances at level 3

The level 3 category – which applies to destinations that have had between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 population in the past 28 days – has seen more action this week.

Being placed at level 3 was a sign of progress in these seven destinations, all descending from level 4:

• Guatemala
• Lebanon
• Libya
• Mauritius
• Porto Rico
• Saint-Martin
• Sri Lanka

For three destinations, moving to level 3 was a sign of worsening conditions. Egypt and the Dominican Republic had been at level 2 (“moderate” risk), and Cayman Islands had been at an enviable level 1 (“low” risk).

You can view the CDC’s risk levels for global destinations on its travel recommendations page.

Cruise to level 3

The CDC also added cruise ships, including river vessels, to its Level 3 warning this week and advised that only fully vaccinated people sail. The CDC said that Covid-19 “spreads easily between nearby people on board ships, and the chance to get [it] on cruise ships is high.

Many major cruise lines only accept fully vaccinated teens and adults anyway.

Some options at level 2

Destinations with the designation “Level 2: Moderate Covid-19” have recorded 50 to 99 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 28 days.

Popular destinations in this less risky category on October 25 were:

• Colombia
• Peru
• Poland

Just keep in mind that the CDC list is updated weekly, and your low-risk destination of choice might increase once you start making plans.

Level 1 and no assessment

In the category of “Level 1: Covid-19 Low” destinations, less than 50 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants have been recorded during the last 28 days. New Zealand falls into this category, but it has yet to open its doors to vacationers.

Finally, there are destinations for which the CDC has an “unknown” risk due to a lack of information. As of October 25, this included Monaco, the Azores and Tanzania.

In its broader travel guidelines, the CDC recommended avoiding all international travel until you are fully immunized.

“Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to contract and spread Covid-19. However, international travel poses additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers could be at increased risk of contracting and possibly spreading certain variants of Covid-19, ”the agency said.

The-CNN-Wire
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Top image: A view of the left bank of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. (Photo by STR / NurPhoto via Getty Images)


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