US Travel Advisory: Singapore Added to Level 4 “High Risk” List As It Opens Up To US Travelers

As of today, fully vaccinated travelers from the United States are permitted to enter Singapore under the country’s new Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) program. But just as Singapore lifts the shutters for Americans, the State Department and CDC are asking them to avoid going there as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in Singapore.

Singapore is the only country to be added to the Tier 4 list in the latest round of travel advisory updates. Popular destinations such as the UK, Ireland, Greece and Croatia remain at Level 4, while France and Portugal have been downgraded to Level 3. The advisories aim to educate US residents of the risks associated with trips abroad, so people can make more informed decisions. on travel and enjoy hassle-free travel. If you’re planning to travel soon, here’s what you need to know about the latest travel guidelines.

What is a travel advisory?

The ongoing risks associated with COVID-19, especially as new variants emerge, present challenges and uncertainties for travel. To make the experience a little less confusing, the State Department has aligned its travel safety advisories with CDC’s scientific travel health advisories to warn travelers of COVID-19 dangers and threats overseas .

Level 4 travel advisory

Level 4 is the highest alert. Countries that register more than 500 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 28 days per 100,000 population are on the CDC’s level 4 list. According to CDC guidelines, people are advised to “avoid travel” to Level 4 destinations, but if they must travel, they must be fully immunized.

The State Department takes this information into account, also examining factors such as political instability, natural disasters, and the threat of terrorism or violent crime. “[Level 4] is the highest advisory level due to a greater likelihood of fatal risks, ”the department explains. In the context of COVID-19, Americans are urged to avoid visiting these places due to increasing infection rates and COVID-19 variants.

France was recently upgraded to level 3 © Sami Sert / Getty Images

Which countries are at level 4?

Singapore

As of October 19, Singapore allowed entry without quarantine to travelers from the US, UK, Canada, France and more, as its vaccination rates approach 85%. But as Singapore prepares to welcome travelers, the US government is advising Americans against going. This is because the number of cases has reached the “high risk” threshold in the past two weeks.

Greece

Costa Rica

The Delta variant is a problem in Costa Rica, but the number of cases has dropped significantly in recent weeks with an average of 908 new infections each day, as of October 19. According to Reuters, this represents 29% of the peak of its infections. Americans are urged to avoid going there by their own government, but Costa Rica welcomes fully vaccinated American visitors without restrictions. Those who are not vaccinated must have travel insurance when visiting, in accordance with Costa Rica’s entry rules.

Other Tier 4 destinations include Ireland, UK, Cuba, Nicaragua, Israel, Thailand, Switzerland, Turkey, Barbados, Belize, Austria, Norway, Aruba, French Polynesia and more.

A tourist bus passes by the colorful facades of the picturesque town of Merida
Mexico remains a Level 3 country according to CDC and State Department guidelines © Irina Klyuchnikova / Shutterstock

Level 3 advice

The CDC advises unvaccinated Americans to avoid non-essential travel to Level 3 destinations, where risks associated with COVID-19 remain high. Some popular destinations designated at level 3 include Italy, Cyprus, Canada, Netherlands, Morocco, Chile, Croatia, Colombia, Egypt, Sweden, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, Denmark, Australia and, more recently, Panama, Portugal, Spain, Nepal and Brazil, which went from level 4 to 3 this week.

Level 2 advice

Level 2 spaces are considered “COVID-19 moderate” destinations by the CDC. When going to these places, people are asked to “practice enhanced precautions”. The CDC is also urging unvaccinated people who are at increased risk of serious illness from COVID-19 to avoid non-essential travel to Tier 2 destinations. Some countries currently at Tier 2 include Peru, South Korea, the India, Zimbabwe and the Czech Republic, which recently opened its borders to vaccinated American tourists.

Level 1 advice

Tier 1 destinations are considered “low risk” countries. People visiting these locations are urged to “take normal precautions” by the State Department. Given the scale of the pandemic, few countries are considered low risk. Some countries at level 1 include Djibouti, Senegal and the Caribbean island of Montserrat.

A solo passenger flight has been canceled.  She is standing in front of the departures panel.  She wears a protective mask
Travel advisories are meant to help people make more informed travel decisions © Getty Images

Should I cancel my trip to a level 4 country?

The answer is up to you. Travel advisories are guidelines, not rules. You are still allowed to go to these places, but if you choose to go to a country the government advises you to avoid, you do so at your own risk. In some extreme cases, i.e. countries where there is civil unrest, widespread violence and political instability, the ministry warns that certain consular services may not be available to you and advises travelers to ” always have a contingency plan for emergencies “.

If I travel, do I have to quarantine myself?

Will my travel insurance cover me in a level 4 country?

It depends on your plan and your provider. We asked several travel insurance experts for information on the impact of travel advice on your insurance and you can read their responses here.

How often do these opinions change?

The State Department confirms that it reviews and updates travel advisories “as needed, based on safety and security information.”

What are the conditions for returning to the United States?

Currently, all airline passengers traveling to the United States aged two and over must provide either a negative COVID-19 test performed within 72 hours of departure, even if they are fully vaccinated, or a health document. official showing that they have recovered from COVID-19 in the past three months.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that all unvaccinated arrivals self-quarantine for at least seven days upon arrival and take a COVID-19 test three to five days after arrival. Travelers fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO approved vaccine do not need to be quarantined, but are also advised to take a COVID-19 test within three to five days of arrival. Check out the full list of recommendations here.

How to resist the urge to travel during the coronavirus pandemic

Anyone planning to go abroad should read the entire travel advisory for their destination at Travel.State.gov; in addition to border restrictions and destination entry requirements, and stay current with local public health guidelines.

This article was first published on August 6, 2020 and updated on October 19, 2021

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