U.S. CDC urges Americans to avoid travel to Hong Kong, New Zealand

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FILE PHOTO: Travellers check a departures list at the ticketing level of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON -The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday urged Americans to avoid travel to Hong Kong, New Zealand and Thailand over COVID-19 cases.

The CDC elevated its travel recommendation to “Level Four: Very High” for the three destinations. In total, the CDC urges Americans to avoid travel to about 135 countries and territories.

The CDC lists another 33 destinations as “Level 3: High” and recommends unvaccinated Americans avoid travel. It lowered six destinations on Monday to Level 3: Anguilla, Cape Verde, Fiji, Mexico, Philippines and United Arab Emirates. A total of just 29 destinations are listed as “Level 2: Moderate” or “Level 1: Low.”

Hong Kong reported 25,150 new coronavirus infections and 280 deaths on Monday, as authorities struggle to contain a worsening COVID-19 outbreak which has torn through hundreds of nursing homes and hit many of the city’s unvaccinated elderly.

While Hong Kong was successful in controlling the virus in 2021, COVID-19 infections there have recently soared to a total of around 500,000. Most of the Chinese-ruled city’s more than 2,200 deaths have been in the past two weeks.

Hong Kong reported the most deaths globally per million people in the week to March 6, according to data publication Our World in Data. CDC raised Hong Kong to “Level 3” last week.

(Reporting by David Shepardson in WashingtonEditing by Jonathan Oatis and Matthew Lewis)

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