Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg over the weekend lifted COVID-19 restrictions in an effort to open up the country, prompting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to place it under the nation's highest travel advisory. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 27 (UPI) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday moved Norway to its highest travel warning for U.S. citizens considering visiting the Scandinavian country.
The CDC lifted Norway to Level 4: COVID-19 Very High, the highest level on its four-level advisory.
"Avoid travel to Norway," it said. "If you must travel to Norway, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel."
A Level 4 designation indicates a destination has recorded 500 positive cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.
The CDC made the adjustment in the wake of Norway over the weekend entering the first phase of its plan to open up the country, which included the lifting of entry restrictions for those from European nations. It is also dropped entry requirements such as the need to quarantine for a slew other nations.
The so-called normal every day life with increased preparedness plan came as the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said that its epidemic is expected to lessen over the coming weeks and "stabilize at a low level."
"We have lived a long time with strict measures at the borders," Monica Maeland, minister of Justice and Emergency Management, said in a statement announcing the loosening of restrictions. "This has been important in combating import infections. When we now move on to a normal everyday life, the government proposes a gradual reduction of the restrictions on entry to the country. This will take place under close supervision."
According to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Norway has more than 186,000 infections and 850 deaths to the pandemic.
The health authority also added Bulgaria to Level 4.
The European nation is by far the least vaccinated country of the 27 country-bloc, according to Oxford University's Our World In Data project, with fewer than 16% of its 7 million population fully vaccinated.
The CDC on Monday also moved six nations to Level 3, meaning they have an incidence rate of 100-500 cases per 100,000 people in the past 28 days.
Those countries are: Bangladesh, Equatorial Guinea, Panama, Saint Barthelemy, Singapore and Slovakia.
Gabon, Hong Kong and Zimbabwe were moved to Level 2 and zero countries were moved to its lowest Level 1.