Record high COVID cases forced Mexico onto the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Level 4 “very high” risk travel category on Monday.
Mexico, which has been listed as a Level 3 nation by the CDC for more than six months, saw its COVID case count surge in January, CNN reports.
To date, the country has recorded over 4.9 million positive cases of the virus and over 306,000 COVID-19 related deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The CDC determines a Level 4 location when it has more than 500 COVID cases per 100,000 residents reported in the past 28 days.
The CDC also moved 11 other destinations to the Level 4 category on Monday, including Anguilla, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, French Guiana, Kosovo, Moldova, Paraguay, the Philippines, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Singapore.
All of the destinations were listed as Level 3 “high” risk last week, except French Guiana, which was previously in the “unknown” category due to unreliable information being available about its COVID situation.
The CDC has seen its Level 4 “very high” risk travel category grow in recent weeks, which now has more than 130 places listed on it, including most of Europe, the Caribbean, and also includes all cruise travel.
The CDC advises even those Americans that are fully vaccinated to avoid traveling to Level 4 destinations due to the “risk for getting and spreading COVID-19.”
Monday also saw updates to the CDC’s Level 3 “high” travel category with 11 destinations added, including Bhutan, Brunei, Comoros, French Polynesia, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Liberia, Nepal, and Oman.
Brunei, Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Liberia, and Nepal were previously listed in the Level 2 “moderate” risk category, while Bhutan, Guinea, The Gambia, and Oman moved up from Level 1 “low” risk category. French Polynesia was previously listed in the “unknown” category last week, with limited information about its COVID numbers available at the time.
A Level 3 nation is determined when it has between 100 and 500 virus cases per 100,000 residents recorded in the past 28 days.
No new nations moved to Level 2 “moderate” risk or Level 1 “low” risk categories on Monday. There were also no changes made to the “unknown” category.
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