The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reshuffled its four-tier travel advisory list on Monday (February 7), dropping South Africa from ‘Level 4: COVID-19 Very High’ to its ‘Level 3: COVID-19 High’ category.
While the CDC originally recommended that holidaymakers ‘avoid travel’ to South Africa, the new risk assessment has seen the advice relaxed to ‘reconsider travel’.
“Make sure you are vaccinated and up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before travelling to South Africa,” the CDC’s latest update for South Africa reads. “If you are not up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, avoid travel to South Africa.”
The CDC has issued the same advice for Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Kenya, Zambia, and Malawi.
Countries within the CDC’s ‘Level 3’ category have registered between 100 and 500 cases of COVID-19 per 100 000 residents in the past 28 days. If a country records more than 500 cases in this period, excluding imported cases (in travellers who were exposed in another country before travel to their final destination), they are moved to ‘Level 4’.
There are currently 134 countries on the CDC’s ‘Level 4’ list, including Botswana and Namibia.
No changes have been made to entry restrictions on travellers returning to the US from South Africa. International air travellers arriving in the US must still ensure they are fully vaccinated and obtain a negative COVID-19 test within 24 hours prior to travel.