After moving a massive number of destinations down to its “high” risk category for travel during the COVID pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has decided to pull Mexico off the Level 3 list as cases of the virus decrease in the area.

The favorite tourist destination now sits in the Level 2 “moderate” risk category, which also saw the nations of Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, and Iran slide into the list from Level 3. Taiwan was also moved to Level 2 from Level 1 “low” risk as its COVID situation worsened.

Mexico is considered one of the most popular travel locations in the West and does not require vaccinations or COVID testing for tourists, according to CNN.

Currently, the Level 3 category holds the majority of global destinations for travel as the CDC now reserves its Level 4 “very high” risk category for special circumstances.

No nations are currently listed in the Level 4 category, and no new additions were made to the Level 3 “high” risk category this week.

As of Monday, about 110 locations are listed in the Level 3 category, accounting for more than half of the 235 nations the CDC is monitoring for travel risks. A Level 3 nation has more than 100 COVID cases reported per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days, the CDC said.

Also listed in the Level 3 category is the majority of Europe, including France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the U.K. The category also holds travel favorites such as Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Malaysia, South Korea, and Thailand.

When traveling to a Level 3 location, the CDC recommended that Americans be up-to-date with their COVID vaccinations and warned that even if a person is up-to-date with their vaccinations, they “may still be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19.”

Mexico, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Taiwan, and Iran were the only destinations moved to the Level 2 category on Monday by the CDC as they reported 50 to 100 COVID cases reported per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.

However, the CDC moved two locations down into its Level 1 “low” risk category – Botswana and Indonesia.

Botswana had previously been listed in the CDC’s “unknown” category, as reliable information about its COVID situation was unavailable, while Indonesia was previously listed in the Level 2 category.

A Level 1 destination has 49 or fewer COVID cases per 100,000 residents reported over the past 28 days.

As of Monday, the Level 1 category had about 55 locations listed in it, including several African nations such as Kenya, Rwanda, and Senegal.

Also seeing moves on Monday were three additions to the CDC’s “unknown” risk category. These changes included Egypt, Guinea, and Paraguay. All three nations were previously listed in the Level 3 “high” risk category and were moved due to the “unknown” risks of traveling there.

The CDC’s “unknown” category currently carries over 50 nations, including Azores, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Ukraine.

The pandemic has caused a sharp drop in the number of tourists visiting Mexico's Caribbean coast
The pandemic has caused a sharp drop in the number of tourists visiting Mexico's Caribbean coast AFP / ELIZABETH RUIZ
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