The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week warned against traveling to a pair of popular vacation destinations: the Netherlands and the Cayman Islands.
The agency, which updates its travel advisory on a weekly basis, raised both destinations to its highest "Level 4" travel warning, telling Americans to "avoid" both countries. The Department of State, in turn, raised both the Netherlands and the Cayman Islands to its highest travel advisory level.
Every country in Europe and Central Asia is "facing a real threat of Covid-19 resurgence or already fighting it," World Health Organization regional director, Hans Kluge said, according to CNN. "The current pace of transmission across the 53 countries of the European Region is of grave concern."
The travel warnings came on the same day the United States reopened its borders to fully-vaccinated international travelers for the first time in 20 months. Vaccinated travelers who have been inoculated with a shot approved by either the Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization will be allowed to enter and must also show proof of a negative test taken within three days of boarding a flight to the U.S.
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In addition to the Netherlands and the Cayman Islands, the CDC raised Luxembourg and the Faroe Islands, a self-governing region that is part of the kingdom of Denmark, to a "Level 4."
A destination is designated as a "Level 4" if there are at least 500 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people.
While the CDC raised its advisory on several places, it also lowered the warning for Thailand and Sint Maarten, both of which have now been classified as a "Level 3." The agency recommends American travelers be fully vaccinated before heading to a "Level 3" destination.
The reclassification comes a week after Thailand dropped its quarantine requirements for vaccinated U.S. travelers, allowing them to travel anywhere in the country unrestricted.
Additionally, the CDC lowered the United Arab Emirates to a "Level 2," which indicates a "moderate" level of COVID-19 transmission in the country.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.