CDC asks travelers to avoid Russia, other countries due to high COVID-19 risk

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has again urged Americans to avoid traveling to several countries due to "Very High" COVID-19 transmission risk. 

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On Nov. 1, the agency added Russia, Belgium and Burkina Faso to the highest tier of coronavirus levels listed. 

The CDC also notes that, if people must travel to these countries, they should be fully vaccinated prior to departure and follow all recommendations or requirements, including wearing a facemask and staying socially distant.

Birds fly over the Church of the Life-Giving Trinity in Ostankino seen through morning fog in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. More than 30 flights were delayed or canceled at three airports in the capital due to fog.  (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

"Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19," the agency warned. "However, international travel poses additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers might be at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading some COVID-19 variants." 

There are dozens of countries listed as "Very High" risk. 

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Russia, for instance, has the third-highest amount of COVID-19 cases over the past 28 days, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The U.S. still has the most, as well as the most deaths from the disease. 

All of this comes ahead of tougher U.S. restrictions on international travel that are set to take effect on Nov. 8. 

The Biden administration announced last month that all foreign, non-immigrant travelers coming to the U.S. are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, allowing only limited exceptions.

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In addition, all international travelers will need to be tested for the virus before boarding a plane to the U.S. and there will also be more stringent restrictions for American and foreign citizens who are not fully vaccinated.

Those who are vaccinated will still need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within three days of travel and the unvaccinated must take a test within one day of travel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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