The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has placed Portugal at level four, the highest alert given for “very high risk” of COVID’19 for travelers.
The CDC alert, issued on Monday, warns that, “Due to the current situation in Portugal, even those with full vaccinations may be at risk of being contaminated with COVID’19 variants.”
A new variant, Omicron, detected in southern Africa, has been reported in 30 countries from all continents, including Portugal.
Level four destinations have more than 500 new cases per 100,000 people over the past 28 days or more than 500 cases total if their population is smaller than 100,000. The recommendation comes as the CDC continues to monitor COVID’19 risk in destinations around the globe.
Besides Portugal, the CDC recommends against traveling to France, Jordan, Cyprus, Andorra, Jordan, Liechtenstein and Tanzania. adding these to a long list of destinations including Germany and Denmark.
Effective December 1, the Portuguese government declared a “state of calamity,” imposing new sanitary restrictions considered “necessary” to contain the rebound in the COVID’19 pandemic, after the worst data has been release since February.
With vaccination levels at around 87% of the population, among the highest in the world, hospitalisations, however, remain far below levels seen during that period.
Americans traveling abroad should be aware of the new rules for departure and return. Travelers from the US to Portugal are advised to check COVID’19 guidelines by visiting the website of the United States Embassy in Portugal, updated daily.