In its latest update to COVID-19 travel recommendations, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has added six countries to its list of level three “high risk” nations.
The July 25 update added Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, El Salvador, Fiji, Honduras, and Poland to the high risk category.
The CDC has now added 18 nations in total to the high risk list during the month of July. The other 12 nations added in that period are Colombia, Iraq, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Paraguay, Bolivia, Lebanon, Peru, Tunisia, Guatemala, Morocco, and Sweden.
The CDC updated its COVID-19 travel health notice system on April 18, reserving level four for “special circumstances, such as rapidly escalating case trajectory or extremely high case counts, emergence of a new variant of concern, and healthcare infrastructure collapse,” the agency stated.
Levels one through three will still be primarily determined by 28-day incidence or case counts, the CDC said.
In level three, travelers are advised to be up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccines before traveling.
Although the CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccination, several studies have pointed to harmful side effects from the injections. One study found increased menstrual bleeding among women. Other research points to COVID-19 shots temporarily impairing semen concentration and motility in men.
International Travel from the United States
International travel from the United States took a significant hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s recovered to a good extent in recent months.
According to a July 20 article by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), U.S. outbound flight bookings have grown 35 percent year-over-year compared to 2021.
Bookings have nearly reached pre-pandemic levels and are just 5 percent short of the 2019 numbers. The top destinations for American travelers are Canada, Mexico, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the Dominican Republic.
“The good news is the Travel & Tourism sector is resilient and sensible border-crossing policies and reduced restrictions are helping to fuel the sector’s recovery. But more international travel is key to ensuring the pace and scale of full recovery,” said Julia Simpson, president and CEO of the WTTC, in a news release.
In February 2022, the WTTC predicted that the U.S. travel and tourism industry could rebound to almost $2 trillion worth of GDP contribution, exceeding pre-pandemic levels by 6.2 percent.