(CNN) — The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday included three destinations in the “high” risk category for travel, including an Eastern European country known for its mountains, dense forests and folklore culture.
Romania is the most notable destination, earning a Level 3 “Covid-19 High” rating in a week that saw few changes to the overall risk assessment.
The other two were Romania’s smaller, wine-producing neighbor Moldova and sparsely populated St. Pierre and Miquelon, a French archipelago off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.
As of August 1, there were nearly 125 Level 3 targets. Level 3 locations account for more than half of the approximately 235 locations monitored by the CDC.
The designation applies to places that have had more than 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 28 days. Level 2 and Level 1 are considered “moderate” and “low” risk, respectively.
As a reminder, this Three destinations received a “high” risk rating on Monday:
• Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Level 4, previously the highest risk category, is now reserved only for special circumstances such as: B. extremely high case numbers, the emergence of a new variant of concern or the collapse of the health infrastructure. No targets have been placed at level 4 under the new system.
More on level 3
Much of Europe has been stubbornly settled at Level 3 for months as the summer travel season enters a traditionally busy August. The following popular European destinations were among those remaining at Tier 3 as of August 1:
• The Netherlands
• United Kingdom
From Mirante Dona Marta you have a panoramic view of Rio de Janeiro with the Sugarloaf Mountain and Guanabara Bay in summer. Brazil is still at Level 3 for Covid-19 risk.
These aren’t the only high-profile locations to be found at Tier 3. Numerous other destinations around the world are among those in the “high” risk category, including the following:
• Costa Rica
• South Korea
Mount Agung volcano is seen at sunset in Bali. Indonesia advanced to level 2 this week.
Matteo Colombo/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Destinations labeled “Level 2: Covid-19 Moderate” reported 50 to 100 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the past 28 days. The CDC only designated two new Level 2 spots Monday:
The move was a step in the wrong direction for both Asian nations who had been at Stage 1. There are fewer than 20 spots in the moderate risk category this week.
To be listed as Level 1: Covid-19 Low, a destination must have had 49 or fewer new cases per 100,000 people in the past 28 days. No new places were added to the category on August 1st.
There are almost 30 places in the “low” risk category this week. Some of the most popular locations in the low risk category this week are Egypt and Tanzania.
Finally, there are the targets that the CDC has classified as an “unknown” risk due to a lack of information. Usually, but not always, these are small, remote places or places with ongoing wars or civil unrest.
Tourism favorite of Southeast Asia Vietnam was the only objective added this week. Previously it was at level 3.
The CDC advises against traveling to these locations precisely because the risks are unknown. Other destinations in this category that usually attract more tourist attention are the Azores, Hungary and the Maldives.
This week nearly 65 locations are listed as “unknown,” accounting for more than a quarter of all monitored locations.
A medical expert weighs the risk levels
According to CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen, transfer rates are just “a guide” to travelers’ personal risk calculations.
We have entered “a phase of the pandemic where people must make their own decisions based on their medical circumstances as well as their risk tolerance when it comes to contracting Covid-19,” said Wen, the emergency room physician and professor is in Health Policy and Management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.
According to Wen, there are other factors to consider in addition to transfer rates.
“Another is what precautions are needed and followed at the place, and the third is what you want to do once you’re there,” she said.
“Planning to visit many attractions and go to indoor bars? This is very different than going somewhere where you lie on the beach all day and don’t want to interact with anyone. This is very different. Those are very different levels of risk.”
Vaccination is the most important safety factor for travel, as unvaccinated travelers are more likely to get sick and transmit Covid-19 to others, Wen said.
And it’s also important to consider what you would do if you tested positive while away from home.
Picture above: The historic city center of Oradea in Transylvania, Romania. (Alexander Spatari/Moment RF/Getty Images)