U.S. Discourages Visiting Caribbean Beaches this Winter
The U.S Department of State issued various high-level travel advisories on January 18, 2022, for several Caribbean countries.
These countries include but are not limited to the following: Bermuda, Jamaica, Saint Kitts/Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Maarten.
These Level 4 ‘Do Not Travel’ Advisories are focused on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the latest SARS-CoV-2 virus variant known as Omicron.
Additionally, the State Department issued Level 3 ‘Reconsider Travel’ Advisories for countries such as Fiji, French West Indies, and Costa Rica.
Furthermore, COVID-19 continues to disrupt the cruise industry.
On January 14, 2022, Royal Caribbean International announced that "as a result of the ongoing COVID-related circumstances around the world, and in an abundance of caution," it would cancel sailing on the ship Independence of the Seas after Jan. 22.
Earlier in January 2022, Royal Caribbean canceled planned trips on the Symphony of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, and Jewel of the Seas cruise ships.
With COVID-19 infections accelerating in the Americas and the detection of the Omicron variant in at least 42 countries and territories in the region, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Carissa F. Etienne called on governments to ensure health workers have access to protective equipment and COVID-19 vaccines.
Overall COVID-19 vaccination coverage in Latin America and the Caribbean currently stands at almost 60%. Many countries, including Chile, Cuba, and Argentina, boast some of the highest coverage rates in the PAHO.
On January 12, 2022, Dr. Etienne stated in a media announcement ‘warned that “this new wave of infections won’t be “mild” for our health systems.”
“In smaller island states, some hospitals were already strained by cases of the Delta variant, and now more hospitals face the prospect of being overwhelmed with Omicron cases,” she added.
The PAHO Director also highlighted the rise in re-infections.
“Over the past week, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic have experienced hikes in new SARS-CoV-2 infections, and increases are also being seen in Jamaica, Aruba, Curacao, and Martinique.”
“In Central America, Belize and Panama are reporting the highest incidence of COVID-19. And in South America, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay have increased cases by 300%.”
The U.S. State Department suggests reviewing the U.S. CDC's specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers for each country. If you decide to visit these countries, consider enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive Alerts and locate you in case of an emergency.
Additional travel vaccine information is published on this webpage.
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