CDC adds Russia to highest COVID-19 travel warning category
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday moved Russia to its category of highest travel risk.
The CDC designated Russia as “Level 4: COVID-19 Very High,” meaning the country has had more than 500 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people for each of the past 28 days.
Belgium was also moved to the highest-risk category.
“Avoid travel to these destinations. If you must travel to these destinations, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel,” the agency’s website says of level four nations.
Just last week, Russia had 40,251 new coronavirus infections in a single day, marking a new record for the country.
Russia also set a new record for COVID-19 fatalities with 1,163 deaths on Friday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin approached much of the pandemic with a relatively hands-off strategy. However, recent records led him to order most workers to stay at home for a week between Oct. 30 and Nov. 7 in an effort to mitigate the virus’s continued spread. For some parts of Russia that have particularly high infection rates, the stay-at-home order will last longer.
Just 33 percent of Russians are vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 tracker.
“There are only two ways to get over this period — to get sick or to receive a vaccine,” Putin said last month. “It’s better to get the vaccine, why wait for the illness and its grave consequences? Please be responsible and take the necessary measures to protect yourself, your health and your close ones.”
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