CDC Puts Mexico at Highest Risk Level for Travel Destinations Amidst Increasing COVID-19 Cases

By Marina Zhang
Marina Zhang
Marina Zhang
Marina Zhang is based in New York and covers health and U.S. news. Contact her at marina.zhang@epochtimes.com.au.
June 18, 2022 Updated: June 18, 2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) placed Mexico at the highest level for travel destination risk on June 13, advising travelers to be up to date on their vaccinations, or avoid traveling to Mexico.

The popular tourist destination for Americans was moved to level 3 for travel risks on June 13. COVID-19 cases have been increasing in Mexico since May 30, with cases averaging around 4,500 cases in the past week.

Along with Mexico, New Caledonia and the United Arab Emirates were also added to level 3 for travel risks on June 13.

New Caledonian cases averaged 42 cases a day, with no new cases on June 13, while the United Arab Emirates gained around 1,300 new cases on June 13, averaging a bit over 1,000 cases for the past seven days.

On April 18, the CDC overhauled its travel risk rating system. Level 3 is now considered the “high” category of travel risk, while level 4 is reserved for special circumstances.

A level 3 travel risk means there have been over 100 new cases per 100,000 residents, while a level 4 risk indicates a strong recommendation to avoid the destination.

The news comes as the federal government removed negative COVID-19 test requirements on June 10, for international air travelers coming into the United States.

The CDC “will end COVID-19 testing requirement for air travelers entering the country,” said the White House spokesman Kevin Munoz on Twitter, adding that it “will evaluate its need based on the science and in context of circulating variants.”

In recent days, travel industry groups have pressed the Biden administration to end the mandatory testing requirement, describing the rule as harmful and needless.

Several countries have already dropped negative testing requirements to enter their respective countries in recent months. That includes Canada, which in April dropped its pre-arrival testing requirement for vaccinated people.

Roger Dow of the U.S. Travel Association said that as COVID-19 restrictions on numerous other businesses have been lifted, “the travel industry remains disproportionately harmed by this requirement.”

“Other countries with whom we directly compete for global travelers have removed their pre-departure testing requirements and reopened their tourism economies, putting the U.S. at a serious competitive disadvantage for export dollars,” Dow argued in a May 31 statement after travel industry leaders met with White House staff.

Jack Phillips contributed to this report.

Marina Zhang
Marina Zhang is based in New York and covers health and U.S. news. Contact her at marina.zhang@epochtimes.com.au.