Czechia, Hungary hiked to highest COVID riskReading Time: < 1 minute
The US national public health agency yesterday began advising American tourists against visiting Hungary or Czechia, two of the world’s leading destinations for winter tourism. The countries were raised from the third to the top “Level 4: COVID Very High” category by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday.
Hungary and Czechia now join 15 other Eastern European states on the highest-risk country list for COVID-19: Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine. Countries are deemed “Level 4” if they have had more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the previous 28 days.
More than 70 destinations are currently at Level 4, for which the CDC’s official advice is: “Avoid travel to these destinations. If you must travel to these destinations, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel.” Poland is the only CEE country in the “Level 3: COVID High” category, for which the agency advises: “Make sure you are fully vaccinated before traveling to these destinations. Unvaccinated travellers should avoid nonessential travel to these destinations.”
The three factors when choosing whether to travel are transmission rates, required precautions and activities planned, Leana Wen, a health policy professor at George Washington University, told CNN. “Are you planning to visit a lot of attractions and go to indoor bars? That’s very different from you’re going somewhere where you’re planning to lie on the beach all day and not interact with anyone else,” Dr. Wen told CNN.