The CDC designated Russia as a Level 4 rating following reports that the nation has reached more than 500 positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people for the past four consecutive weeks.
Russia also hit a record of 1,163 COVID-19 deaths on Friday, according to The Associated Press.
“Avoid travel to Russia. If you must travel to Russia, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel,” the CDC’s website says regarding Level 4 countries.
“Because of the current situation in Russia, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants,” it added.
Belgium, Burkina Faso, and Slovakia were also added to the list of Level 4 nations on Monday.
In addition to these four nations, a total of nearly 80 nations remain at Level 4 on the CDC’s list.
Moscow was placed under a recent lockdown for the first time since June 2020 as the city reported a rising wave of COVID-19 infections and deaths, authorities announced on Thursday.
“Our task today is to protect life and health of our citizens and minimize the consequences of the dangerous infection,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
“To achieve that, it’s necessary to first of all slow the pace of contagion and mobilize additional reserves of the health care system, which is currently working under a high strain,” he added.
During Moscow’s partial lockdown, only shops that sell food, medicine, and other key infrastructure are allowed to operate.
All non-essential services like cinemas, gyms, entertainment venues, and most stores are closed. Schools and state kindergartens are shut as well, while restaurants and cafes are only allowed to provide service for takeout or delivery.
Putin also ordered a non-working period for nine days from Oct. 30 until Nov. 7. During this period, most state organizations and private businesses are to suspend operations.
Many believe high distrust of government has led to widespread vaccine hesitancy across Russia. Others believe they simply will not get COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.
The Levada Center, a Moscow-based poll service, reported in October that half of the respondents said they are unafraid of contracting the coronavirus.
In addition, Russia has also reported a high number of people using faked COVID-19 vaccine credentials, offering some Russians a way to avoid taking the vaccine.
Lorenz Duchamps contributed to this report.