Trips to the Great White North might have to wait; United States federal officials are warning travelers to avoid Canada due to its “very high” level of COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday moved Canada from its level 3 travel health notice to level 4, the highest alert level. Canada now joins 80 other countries, including France, Italy and the United Kingdom on the CDC’s list of countries to avoid.
“If you must travel to Canada, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel,” the CDC warns on its website. “Because of the current situation in Canada, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants.”
The State Department, which issues its own travel advisories, has also issued a warning: “Do not travel to Canada due to COVID-19.”
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The CDC looks at incidence rates and new case trajectories to determine each country’s risk level. Level 4 countries have reported more than 500 new cases per 100,000 people within the past 28 days.
Reported coronavirus cases in Canada have been on a steep incline over the past month. There are more than 404,000 active COVID-19 cases in Canada, according to government data, with more than 34,000 reported Tuesday.
The new guidance comes five months after Canada reopened its land borders to vaccinated U.S. travelers in early August. The U.S. reopened its lands borders to Canadian tourists in November.
Before the pandemic, more than 14 million U.S. tourists would visit Canada annually.
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A number of other countries also moved on the CDC’s travel health notice:
- Curaçao moved from level 3 to level 4.
- Singapore moved from level unknown to level 3.
- Rwanda and the United Arab Emirates moved from level 1 to level 3.
- Bahrain, Cape Verde, Ethiopia and Zambia moved from level 2 to level 3.
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Fiji, Kuwait, Liberia, Togo and São Tomé and Príncipe moved from level 1 to level 2.
- Armenia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Belarus moved from level 4 to level 3.
- El Salvador moved from level 3 to level 2.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz.