The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. State Department raised their travel alert levels Monday for the Caribbean travel spots of Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Belize due to the “risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 variants.”

The CDC raised both dual-island nation Saint Kitts and Nevis and Belize to a level 4, which signifies “very high” COVID levels and means tourists should avoid travel to the popular Caribbean vacation destinations.

Those who must travel to either destination, the CDC travel health notice says, should be fully vaccinated. Aside from following each country’s specific guidance, CDC recommends travelers wear a mask and stay 6 feet apart from others.

►Visiting Maui this fall? Forget about indoor dining at restaurants, bars unless you’re vaccinated.

►Which EU countries are open to US tourists?:A breakdown of EU travel restrictions by country

The CDC also raised several countries’ travel alert to a levels 4, including: 

  • Slovenia
  • Serbia
  • Mauritius
  • Lithuania
  • Israel
  • Grenada
  • Albania
  • Afghanistan

The agency raised the alert levels last week for Jamaica, Sri Lanka and Brunei to level 4.

The CDC assesses COVID-19 risk based on each destination’s new cases and new case trajectory. The Travel Health Notice level can be raised if a large increase in COVID-19 cases is reported or a destination’s case count meets or exceeds the threshold for a higher level for 14 straight days. Level 4 destinations have more than 500 new cases per 100,000 people over the past 28 days or more than 500 cases period if their population is smaller than 100,000.

Contributing: Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. State Department raised their travel alert levels for Jamaica due to the number of COVID-19 cases and other factors.

The CDC on Tuesday raised Jamaica to a level 4, which signifies “very high” COVID levels and means travelers should avoid travel to the popular Caribbean vacation destination. Those who must travel to Jamaica, the CDC travel health notice says, should be be fully vaccinated.

The State Department on Tuesday raised its travel advisory for Jamaica to level 4, which means do not travel, due to COVID cases and crime in certain areas of Kingston, Montego Bay and Spanish Town.

►International travel:European Union countries tightening COVID-19 restrictions for US tourists

►Travel test:Here’s what travelers should know about at-home COVID-19 tests

Plenty of other vacation destinations are rated level 4 by the CDC, including the Bahamas, U.S. Virgin Islands, France and the United Kingdom.

The CDC raised the alert levels last week for Puerto Rico, Guam, Saint Lucia and Switzerland to Guam, among other destinations, to level 4.

The CDC assesses COVID-19 risk based on each destination’s new cases and new case trajectory. The Travel Health Notice level can be raised if a large increase in COVID-19 cases is reported or a destination’s case count meets or exceeds the threshold for a higher level for 14 straight days. Level 4 destinations have more than 500 new cases per 100,000 people over the past 28 days or more than 500 cases period if their population is smaller than 100,000.

Contributing: Eve Chen, USA TODAY 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added two U.S. territories to its list of destinations with “very high” COVID-19 risk, advising Americans against traveling to Puerto Rico and Guam, among other destinations in CDC Travel Health Notices issued Monday.

The agency also upgraded Switzerland, Saint Lucia, Azerbaijan, Estonia and North Macedonia to Level 4 on Monday. Level 4 is the CDC’s highest risk category. The State Department also added those five countries to its “Level 4: Do Not Travel” list due to COVID-19 concerns. 

The State Department, which takes CDC Travel Health Notices into account for its own travel advisories, also urged travelers to “reconsider travel” to Canada, Germany, Bermuda and a number of other countries upgraded to Level 3 status on Monday.

Just a day earlier, the European Union removed North Macedonia and the U.S. from its safe travel list, along with several other countries. 

According to the CDC, Americans should “avoid travel” to destinations with “very high” risk of COVID-19. However, if they must travel, the public health agency advises full vaccination. Unvaccinated travelers who must travel are advised to take a number of safety precautions.

►Can Americans visit Europe this fall?:It’s complicated. What travelers need to know about EU travel restrictions.

►Traveling to Hawaii?:Get ready to show COVID vaccine or negative test at Honolulu restaurants, bars

What CDC says unvaccinated travelers should do if they must travel

  • Before travel: Get a viral test one to three days before departure.
  • While traveling: Wear a face mask, social distance and wash hands frequently.
  • After travel: Get a viral test three to five days after returning and self-quarantine for seven days. Travelers who opt out of testing should self-isolate for 10 days.
    Avoid being around immunocompromised people for 14 days, regardless of testing.
    Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and follow all local guidelines.
  • Do not travel if you have been exposed to COVID-19, have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.

Bahamas, France, United Kingdom, other countries, already classified as ‘very high’ risk by CDC

Last week, the CDC and State Department advised Americans against nonessential travel to the Bahamas and several other countries. A number of other popular destinations are already on the CDC’s Level 4 list, including France, the United Kingdom and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The CDC assesses COVID-19 risk based on each destination’s new cases and new case trajectory. The Travel Health Notice level can be raised if a large increase in COVID-19 cases is reported or a destination’s case count meets or exceeds the threshold for a higher level for 14 straight days. Level 4 destinations have more than 500 new cases per 100,000 people over the past 28 days or more than 500 cases period if their population is smaller than 100,000.

A Swiss flag is seen at sunset above Lake Geneva from Riez, France, on Oct. 5, 2017.

Hawaii is a popular destination right now, but maybe it is a little too popular.

As Americans hit the road again this summer, after the long pandemic, many are making plans to visit Hawaii, but Hawaiian One Island is now asking airlines to slow down because they cannot handle the tourist boom.

Normally, Hawaii welcomes tourists, a major source of the island’s state income, but the mayor of Maui County is asking airlines to pause their return to full flights.

The mayor says the island is being overrun by tourists this summer and says there aren’t enough hospitality workers to support the surge.

More than 170,000 people flew into the state over the 4th of July, according to state officials, which has left vacationers complaining of pricey hotel rooms, sold-out rental cars and long waits at airports and restaurants because the hospitality industry is not back up to full steam.

Plus, the continued rental car crisis can be placed in the “doesn’t that stink file.”

A weekly rental can now run well over a thousand dollars, if you can find one, because agencies don’t have enough cars. Some savvy tourists have been renting U-Haul trucks for $25 a day, now resulting in a U-Haul shortage.

If you are thinking of Hawaii, check the hotel and rental car prices before you hunt for airfares. That way, you’ll know if it’s affordable so you don’t waste your money.

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A United Airlines passenger aircraft arrives over the top of residential houses to land at Heathrow Airport in west London, Britain, March 13, 2020.

Matthew Childs | Reuters

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State Department on Monday said to avoid travel to the U.K. as the delta variant of Covid-19 continues to spread.

The warnings are “Level 4,” the CDC and State Department’s highest. While not binding, they come after airline executives and other members of the travel industry have pressed the Biden administration to loosen existing Covid travel restrictions that have devastated demand for international bookings.

The United States has had an entry ban in place for non-U.S. citizens from the EU, U.K. and other countries for much of the coronavirus pandemic, though several European nations have recently opened their doors to international visitors. Canada, however, said Monday it will allow fully vaccinated U.S. citizens into the country for nonessential travel starting Aug. 9.

The White House and the British Embassy in Washington didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The CDC said if individuals must travel to the U.K., they should be fully vaccinated against Covid. Meanwhile, England lifted remaining Covid-19 restrictions on Monday, allowing for indoor gatherings and the reopening of nightclubs.

But Covid infections remain high across the U.K. with 316,691 cases reported over the last seven days, up by about 43% from the previous seven-day period, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

U.S. airline stocks fell sharply on Monday as an increasing number of Covid cases raised concerns about the economic recovery and the potential impact on the recent resurgence in travel demand after a slump for much of the past year.

Covid cases in the U.S. have jumped by about 66% in the past week to a seven-day average of about 32,300 new cases per day, according to Johns Hopkins data.

— CNBC’s Holly Ellyatt contributed to this article.

Germany’s government has tightened its border controls, while urging its citizens not to make unnecessary trips to France, Denmark, Austria, and the Czech Republic, amid the fears that the country could see further rising in COVID-19 infection rates amid the third wave of the virus.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for disease control has stressed that all persons coming to Germany from any of the countries mentioned above will be obliged to present a negative result of the Coronavirus test upon their arrival, which should not be older than 48 hours, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Citizens of Germany’s neighboring countries, which are being considered as profoundly affected by the virus, after presenting a negative COVID-19 test result when entering the country, will then have to stay self-isolated for ten days. The quarantine period can be shortened after a second negative test taken after five days.

The head of the public health institute RKI, Lothar H. Wieler, has pointed out that Germany could face over 100,000 infections a day if the third wave of the COVID-19 spreads unchecked.

However, the Federal Republic of Germany’s recent preventive measure may cause new difficulties for cross-border workers of neighboring countries, especially for tens of thousands of French residents who cross the frontier each day for work purposes.

French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune has stressed that cross-border workers living in France’s eastern region and traveling into Germany every day will have to take two Coronavirus tests per week.

In this regard, France’s Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said that random German checks and mandatory tests would be enforced on the French border.

“The pandemic in Germany is exploding faster than they thought,” the minister has emphasized.

Nineteen zones in France have been placed under lockdown while over 4,700 persons are treated in intensive care.

France’s capital is one of the worst affected zones from the COVID-19, with nearly 600 cases per 100,000 people, while the average rate in the past weeks is more than 200 cases. As for Germany, the average rate is 199 per 100,000 people.

Based on Worldometers’ statistics, Germany is the tenth most infected country worldwide from the virus. Over 2,772,690 persons have tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic, while 76,404 persons have died.

While infections are running at over 20,000 a day, German Health Minister Jens Spahn has stressed that “if this continues unchecked, we run the risk of our health system hitting breaking point in April.”

Poland has also reported an increase in the number of COVID-19 infections. The country is being affected by the rapid spread of the UK’s variant.

Slovakia and the Czech Republic are also considered high-risk countries; however, they have reported lower infection rates than before.

Authorities in Germany are planning to make it compulsory for all persons wishing to enter its territory to show a negative result of the COVID-19 test before boarding the plane, even for countries that are not considered profoundly affected by the virus.

 

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday urged Americans to avoid travel while warning of a possible “avoidable surge” in the coronavirus.

“Much of the travel, we know, is related to people who are going on spring break,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a press briefing. “We’re worried not just for what happens when you are on the airplane itself but what happens when people travel. That is, they go out. They mix with people who are not vaccinated.”

The Transportation Security Administration on Sunday screened over 1.5 million travelers in airports – the highest number seen in over a year. Sunday was also the 11th consecutive day that saw over 1 million screenings.

Cartoons on the Coronavirus

“We’re so close to vaccinating so many more people,” Walensky said. “So I would just encourage people and remind people: Now is not the time to travel.”

And while travel ticked up, so did the most recent seven-day average of new cases, according to Walensky.

“The most recent seven-day average is about 53,800 cases per day, which is a slight increase from the previous seven-day period,” she said.

The weekend was the first time that over 3 million people were vaccinated on consecutive days, according to Andy Slavitt, White House senior adviser for COVID-19 response.

Walensky said that relaxing mitigation measures and giving variants the opportunity to widely spread could result in another surge.

“We are at a critical point in this pandemic, a fork in the road, where we as a country must decide which path we are going to take,” Walensky said. “And I am worried that if we don’t take the right actions now, we will have another avoidable surge, just as we are seeing in Europe right now and just as we are so aggressively scaling up vaccination.”

She added that the CDC is working on updating its guidelines for what activities vaccinated people can resume to include a section on travel. The first iteration of the guidance recommended vaccinated people avoid nonessential travel.

Americans should reconsider their spring break plans and nonessential travel in Mexico because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Embassy there says.

Through a health and safety advisory the embassy issued Thursday, the U.S. government warned coronavirus cases and hospitalization numbers have remained high in most of Mexico.

As of March 7, the virus had killed 211,022 people in the country, with 2,734 new cases reported that day.

Mexico has recorded 2,128,600 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic. However, access to COVID-19 testing is limited throughout Mexico, making experts believe the real number of cases could be three times higher than the official count.

From DFW International Airport there are at least two dozen fixed and seasonal flights to Mexican destinations every day, and Dallas-based Southwest Airlines connects to four tourist destinations in Mexico.

Mexican authorities have a color-coded —red, orange, yellow, green— system to identify the level of cases and opening of the country’s economy. Currently, popular seaside destinations, such as Cancún, Playa del Carmen and Puerto Vallarta, are marked yellow, meaning that hotels can operate at 60% capacity.

The U.S. embassy in Mexico also warned that consulate services for U.S. citizens are limited in many locations because of the pandemic.’

Return travel to the U.S. also has some limitations.

The border is partially closed until at least March 21. If returning through land ports of entry, only U.S. citizens and legal residents are allowed to cross the border.

People returning to the U.S. by plane must show a negative COVID-19 test performed no more than three days before their scheduled flights.

If travelers have had COVID-19 recently — as far back as three months — they can submit medical documentation showing they have been released. Additionally, travelers must submit an affidavit stating they are not coronavirus carriers.

All this documentation must be submitted to airline staff at check-in.

People with tourist visas can still travel to the United States from Mexico by plane.

(CNN) — The airline industry is pushing back against new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that fully vaccinated people should still avoid travel.

In a new statement, industry group Airlines For America insists being on board a plane poses a low risk of coronavirus infection because of heavily filtered air and federally mandated mask wearing. “We remain confident that this layered approach significantly reduces risk,” the group said.

The announcement comes after the CDC said those who are vaccinated can meet with others who are vaccinated and even low-risk people who aren’t vaccinated but should still avoid travel.

“Every time there’s a surge in travel, we have a surge in cases in this country,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky during Monday’s White House coronavirus response briefing.

Health experts remain concerned that spring break travel will lead to an uptick in coronavirus infection rates.

It appears more people are already starting to travel.

The Transportation Security Administration says it screened almost 1.3 million at airports on Sunday, the highest figure since January 3 holiday travel. The TSA screened nearly a million or more than a million people every day since Thursday, meaning 4.5 million people flew over four days.

This is the second pandemic-related disagreement between the airline industry and the new Biden administration.

An airline industry source tells CNN that it is urging the CDC to publicly release the criteria it will use to adjust travel guidance.

COVID-19 vaccine brings new hopes amongst travellers across the globe. With the new travel
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COVID Fear: International travel after COVID-19 is not easy. If you buy travel insurance online
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Nutshell
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