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CDC removes all remaining destinations from highest COVID-19 travel risk category

The CDC on Monday emptied its highest COVID-19 travel risk category in an effort to reserve the designation for "special circumstances."&nbsp;File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/acf6b5f54a82e6f9998b51ad57b207da/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
The CDC on Monday emptied its highest COVID-19 travel risk category in an effort to reserve the designation for "special circumstances." File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

April 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday removed all remaining destinations from its highest COVID-19 travel risk category.

The CDC re-named the category "Level 4: Special Circumstances/Do Not Travel," indicating that Americans should not travel to these destinations and should ensure they are up to date with COVID-19 vaccines if they must make a trip to a country listed in the category.

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The move came after the agency announced last week it would reserve the "Level 4" travel health notices for "special circumstances, such as rapidly escalating case trajectory or extremely high case counts, emergence of a new variant of concern or healthcare infrastructure collapse."

Previously, the designation was labeled "Very High" travel risk and indicated countries that reached a rate of more than 500 cumulative new cases per 100,000 people over the previous 28 days. The CDC said that levels 3, 2 and 1 would still be primarily determined by 28-day incidence or case counts.

About 100 destinations including France, Britain, Australia and Japan remained in the Level 3: High category.

In March the CDC removed cruise ships, which had been designated at Level 4, from its travel advisory list.

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Last week, the agency extended its mask mandate for air travel through May 3 citing a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, however, a federal judge on Monday struck down the Biden administration's mandate requiring that travelers on airlines and public transportation wear masks.

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