Health

CDC Raises Covid Journey Advisory Stage For Singapore, Hong Kong

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On October 24, 2020, people will stand against Singapore Airlines Airbus planes at Changi International Airport in Singapore.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised their travel warnings for Singapore and Hong Kong by one level each on Monday.

Singapore has been raised from Level 2 to Level 3, which indicates a “high” Covid-19 level in the country. The CDC said unvaccinated travelers should avoid non-essential travel to the Southeast Asian country.

“Due to the current situation in Singapore, all travelers can be at risk of getting and spreading Covid-19 variants,” said the agency.

Covid infections in Singapore rose to new highs in the past week. Tighter restrictions went into effect on Monday to slow down virus transmission.

The US State Department also revised its Level 3 recommendation for Singapore, recommending that citizens “reconsider travel.” The city-state was previously rated as Level 2, suggesting travelers should “exercise increased caution” due to Covid-19.

Travel to Hong Kong

Travelers should also reconsider traveling to Hong Kong, according to a notice from the ministry last updated on June 16. In that announcement, the State Department cited “arbitrary enforcement of local laws” and travel restrictions related to Covid.

This week the CDC raised its Hong Kong travel health warnings from level 1 to level 2, indicating a shift from “low” to “moderate” Covid levels.

Unvaccinated travelers who are at increased risk of serious illness from the coronavirus should avoid unnecessary trips to the Chinese city, the updated advisory said.

The agency says travelers traveling to Level 2 or 3 destinations should make sure they are fully vaccinated before visiting.

The Covid cases reported daily in Hong Kong were in the single digits in the past week. All infections were imported cases.

According to Our World in Data, the US reported an average of 359 new Covid cases per million residents daily for the past seven days, compared with 244 per million in Singapore and 0.62 per million in Hong Kong.

Travel advice

The CDC has four levels in its Covid-19 travel health recommendations:

  • Level 1: Low
  • Level 2: Moderate
  • Level 3: High
  • Level 4: Very high

All travelers are advised not to travel to Level 4 destinations. The Agency also notes that it bases its decisions on data from the World Health Organization and other official sources. However, the CDC said there wasn’t enough data for regions listed as “Unknown Level” and travelers should follow Level 4 recommendations.

The State Department also has four tiers in its travel advisory system, but includes a wider range of factors in its classification. While the CDC is focused on health, the State Department also assesses risk factors such as crime, terrorism, civil unrest, natural disasters and kidnappings.

  • Level 1: Exercise normal precautions
  • Level 2: Proceed with increased caution
  • Level 3: Rethink traveling
  • Level 4: Do not travel

The department’s recommendations now include information on Covid risks for each travel destination, often citing the CDC’s travel health recommendations.

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