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CDC warns against travel to Italy due to ‘very high’ coronavirus risk

A plane flies over Venice on Dec. 12. (Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images)
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned people not to travel to Italy, placing one of Europe’s top tourist destinations on its highest-risk category for the coronavirus.

The agency also added the Danish autonomous territory of Greenland and the small African island of Mauritius to its avoid travel list.

On Monday, the CDC moved all three places from a Level 3 risk category to Level 4 and recommended that people avoid traveling there. If they do, the agency said, they should ensure they are “fully vaccinated before travel.”

The CDC reviews case data and places a destination at Level 4, signifying “very high” risk, when it reports more than 500 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past 28 days.

The CDC has four levels that start at “low” and escalate to “moderate,” “high” and “very high.”

Italy is one of the last countries in Europe to be placed at a Level 4, after France, Portugal — which has one of the highest vaccination rates in Europe — and Germany. Spain is at Level 3, as is Malta.

Europe continues to grapple with a surge of coronavirus cases, largely driven by the delta and highly transmissible omicron variants and as scientists and leaders worldwide continue to monitor and assess the severity of omicron.

Britain, also at Level 4, declared an “omicron emergency” this week and said it expects an “omicron tidal wave,” as cases continue to increase in London and other cities.

Coronavirus: What you need to know

Where do things stand? See the latest covid numbers in the U.S. and across the world. In the U.S., pandemic trends have shifted and now White people are more likely to die from covid than Black people.

The state of public health: Conservative and libertarian forces have defanged much of the nation’s public health system through legislation and litigation as the world staggers into the fourth year of covid.

Grief and the pandemic: A Washington Post reporter covered the coronavirus — and then endured the death of her mother from covid-19. She offers a window into grief and resilience.

Would we shut down again? What will the United States do the next time a deadly virus comes knocking on the door?

Vaccines: The CDC recommends that everyone age 5 and older get an updated covid booster shot. New federal data shows adults who received the updated shots cut their risk of being hospitalized with covid-19 by 50 percent. Here’s guidance on when you should get the omicron booster and how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections.

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