(CNN) — The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has placed five places in Europe – including one of the world’s largest tourism powerhouses – on their list of destinations with a “very high” Covid-19 travel risk.
France and four of its European neighbors moved to Level 4, the CDC’s highest risk category, on Monday. France was the world’s top destination for international tourist arrivals before the pandemic, according to 2019 figures from the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
Two other places — one in the Middle East, the other in East Africa — were also moved to level 4. Those seven countries are:
Customers will have their health passes checked before entering the traditional Christmas market in Strasbourg, France, on December 4, 2021.
Frederick Florin/AFP via Getty Images
Destinations that fall into the CDC’s “Covid-19 Very High” Level 4 category have had more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.
People should avoid traveling to locations designated with a “Level 4” notice, the CDC recommends. Anyone who has to travel should be fully vaccinated first, the agency advises.
“Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread Covid-19. However, international travel carries additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers may be at an increased risk of getting and potentially spreading some Covid-19 strains the agency said.
All of these European destinations, plus Jordan in the Middle East, were previously considered “high” level 3 risk. Previously, safari favorite Tanzania was rated “unknown” for lack of reliable information.
Concerns: Covid increase in Europe and Omicron
The Level 4 announcement comes as two troubling fronts continue to develop during the pandemic.
Other countries at level 4
While Europe has been hit hard, it’s not the only region with Level 4 popular tourist destinations. Among the other places also considered a “very high” risk for travel are:
• Cayman Islands
In total, more than 80 countries were classified as Level 4 on December 6.
News from level 3
Empty roads in Bogota, Colombia, on March 20, 2020. Colombia was moved to the CDC’s “high” risk category on Monday.
RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
The level 3 category – which applies to destinations with between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 28 days – had four updates this week, all in the Caribbean Basin.
The four places moved to level 3 were:
• Saint Kitts and Nevis
The move was a positive development for the islands of Cuba, Grenada and Saint Kitts and Nevis, which were located at Level 4. It’s a step in the wrong direction for South American Colombia, which was previously at Level 2.
New Level 2 Submissions
Destinations labeled “Level 2: Covid-19 Moderate” have seen 50 to 99 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past 28 days.
There are five new entries this week. They are:
• Cape Verde
• Sao Tome and Principe
Level 1 and unknown
The small African nation of Djibouti moved to level 1 and was previously at level 2.
“Level 1: Covid-19 Low” destinations registered fewer than 50 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 28 days.
Finally, there are destinations for which the CDC has an “unknown” risk due to lack of information. As of December 6, that list included Algeria, Cambodia, Macau and Monaco, among other things.
Top image: The sun is setting on the Eiffel Tower and the River Seine in this photo, taken on October 19, 2021 in Paris. (Photo by Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images)