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US State Department Tells Americans to Reconsider Caribbean Travel



The U.S. State Department is effectively advising Americans to reconsider or halt their travel to most of the Caribbean.

The State Department issued on Thursday issued Level 4 “do not travel” advisories for several Caribbean countries, including the Dominican Republic, Belize and The Bahamas.

It also issued “Level 3” advisories for Americans to “reconsider” and “avoid non-essential travel” to more than a score of Caribbean nations due to COVID-19 risks.

Level 3 advisories were issued for Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, Dominica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Curacao, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sint Maarten, St. Lucia, The British Virgin Islands, The Cayman Islands, The Turks & Caicos, Trinidad and Tobago.

The Dominican Republic, which has the highest COVID-19 infection rate among Caribbean countries, is the largest of six Caribbean destinations to receive a Level 4 designation.

Belize, another growing Caribbean destination, and Cuba were also tagged with Level 4 destinations.

Level 4 status was also assigned to Haiti, Guyana and Honduras, each of which had significant pre-COVID tourism activity, albeit a fraction of the largest Caribbean destinations.

Belize is among six Caribbean countries assigned a Level 4 State Department designation. At the Nirvanaa Hotel in Placencia. (Photo by Brian Major

The U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic reports the country has 76,536 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 1,246 confirmed deaths. The country has for the last several years been the most popular Caribbean travel destination, last year hosting 6.4 million land-based travelers according to Caribbean Tourism Organization data.

In addition, “News reports indicate many [Dominican] hospitals no longer have beds vacant for COVID-19 and are no longer able to accept new COVID-19 patients,” said Embassy officials. Furthermore, “Hospitalized patients may have an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19.”

Routine operations at U.S. Embassy Santo Domingo [are] suspended due to the epidemic. The State Department advisory also warns of “border closures, airport closures, travel prohibitions, stay-at-home orders, business closures, and other emergency conditions within the Dominican Republic due to COVID-19.”

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