Two tropical island getaways half a world apart — Jamaica in the Caribbean and Sri Lanka in South Asia — have just joined the list of travel destinations with the highest risk for COVID-19 infections, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Tuesday.
According to the latest travel advisory released by the CDC, people should now avoid these two popular tourist destinations, along with the other countries designated with “Level 4: Covid-19 Very High” notice. It says that travelers who wish to travel to these countries to at least get themselves fully vaccinated if traveling can’t be avoided, CNN reported.
According to reports, Jamaica’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign rates are low, with only 19 doses given per 100 people as of Tuesday. It has had a series of strictly imposed curfews since late August and implemented some “no-movement” days to curb the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka joined the list after seeing a drastic increase in COVID-positive cases despite having one of Asia’s stronger vaccination campaigns. Their vaccination campaigns rated at 102 doses administered per 100 people as of Tuesday. It is a pretty good number, especially when compared with its much larger neighbor India which has only given 49 doses per 100 people.
Also joining the growing list of countries with the highest risk of COVID-19 infections due to the highly transmissible Delta variant is the isolated nation of Brunei on the island of Borneo.
How the CDC ranks nations
The CDC’s bulging list of travel notices lists countries according to the severity of COVID-19 cases in the country. The categories range from Level 1 (“low”) to Level 4 (“very high”).
The destinations that fall into the “Covid-19 Very High” Level 4 category include those with over 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.
The CDC’s criteria for the Level 3 category applies to destinations with between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.
Other popular destinations on CDC’s Level 4 list
As of writing, CDC’s list of countries categorized as Level 4 in terms of COVID infection includes some of the most visited vacation spots around the world.
The list includes COVID-ravaged Brazil, which has been in the Level 4 category for several months already. Other popular countries currently considered to pose the highest risk of COVID-19 infections include:
- The Bahamas
- Costa Rica
- South Africa
- Turkey, and
- The United Kingdom