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US raises COVID risk level for travel to Germany, 8 others

August 31, 2021

The US listed Switzerland, Canada and Germany among high-risk countries "due to a high level of COVID-19." The decision comes as the EU calls for reimposing restrictions on American tourists.

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Switzerland, Estonia, North Macedonia, Azerbaijan, and Saint Lucia are among the highest-risk destinations for travelersImage: Gregg Brekke/ZUMA Press Wire/picture alliance

The United States on Monday raised the travel risk alert for Germany, Switzerland, and several other European countries due to the high rate of COVID-19 in those counties.

Switzerland, Estonia, North Macedonia, Azerbaijan, and Saint Lucia have been listed in the level 4 category, meaning they are among the highest-risk destinations for travelers, according to the latest advisory from the US Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Germany, Canada, and Moldova have been bumped up to level 3, "reconsider travel," up from level 2, due to "a high level of COVID-19."

US territories Guam and Puerto Rico were also deemed high risk.

EU takes US off safe travel list

The move comes a day after the European Union recommended its member states reimpose travel restrictions on US tourists amid rising infections in the country.

The European Council announced Monday that it was taking six countries, including the US, off the safe list of locations for nonessential travel during the pandemic.

"Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, the Republic of North Macedonia, and the United States of America were removed from the list," the body representing the bloc's members states said in a statement.

However, the guidance was nonbinding on the national capitals.

The US has been recording 1,200 COVID-19 deaths per day nationwide, the highest levels since mid-March.

Meanwhile, its new daily infections are averaging over 155,000, a rate last seen in January.

How are CDC advisories issued?

According to the CDC criteria, level 4 or "very high" risk destinations are those with an incidence rate of more than 500 new cases per 100,000 population over the past 28 days.

Level 3 destinations are those that have 100-500 cases per 100,000 people over the same period.