CDC Warning - Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel

‘Avoid Non-Essential Travel to The Bahamas’ Says The CDC

Bahamas level 3 travel alert issued by Canada, UK Foreign Travel Advice, and the USA
hurricane debris on the beach
Caribbean (Vax Before Travel)

A Level 3 Travel Alert has been issued for the Commonwealth of the Bahamas by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This ‘Avoid Non-Essential Travel Alert’ said on September 12, 2019, ‘Parts of the Bahamas, including the Abacos and Grand Bahama Island, has been severely affected by Hurricane Dorian.’

And, ‘people who must travel to affected parts of the Bahamas should take steps to prevent illness and injury by being sensitive to possible physical dangers including debris, unstable buildings, moving water, and downed power lines, and exposure to diseases.’

This CDC Travel Alert is unfortunate news since The Bahamas has seen an increase in tourism recently.

According to government statistics, Grand Bahama received 670,000 visitors in 2018, the vast majority arriving on cruise ships. And, the Nassau and Paradise Island hotel industry reported a spike in average daily room rates, up 34 percent in one year.

Previously, to alert international travelers to additional risks when visiting The Bahamas, the US Department of State reissued a Level 2 Travel Advisory on August 30th, 2019.  

This ‘Exercise Increased Caution’ advisory by the State Department indicates that visitors to The Bahamas are experiencing various types of ‘crime.’ 

Additionally, the Canadian and UK governments issued similar Travel Advisories on September 11, 2019. 

Specifically, the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Bahama’s northwest islands, however, travel to other islands of The Bahamas is unaffected. 

Moreover, UK health authorities have classified The Bahamas as having a risk of Zika virus and Chikungunya virus transmissions.

But, there is no risk of the yellow fever virus in the Bahamas.

However, there is a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate requirement. Under International Health Regulations, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travelers aged 1 year or over arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travelers having transited for more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

The yellow fever vaccine, Stamaril, has limited distribution in the United States. If you need to be vaccinated before your trip, you may need to travel some distance and schedule your appointment well in advance.

Previously, the CDC’s updated travel vaccine suggestions for The Bahamas on August 2, 2019.  The CDC suggests various preventive vaccines, such as measles, Hepatitis A, and Typhoid vaccinations prior to traveling abroad, as well as bringing medicines and supplies with you.

Furthermore, the CDC said in this new Travel Alert ‘serious health risks may be present and medical care may be limited or unavailable in The Bahamas.’

Pre-trip counseling sessions can be scheduled at Vax-Before-Travel and vaccine financial support programs can be found at Vaccine Discount.

Vaccine news published by Vax Before Travel


Article by
Dani Reiter