On October 7, the United States State Department issued 15 level-four or “Do Not Travel” advisories to nations in the Caribbean.
Although people may take a cruise or fly to one of the countries without facing legal repercussions, they may fail in securing travel insurance. A traveler who experiences a crime or falls ill while traveling must have insurance to cover their losses and expenses.
A level-four warning indicates an extreme risk of COVID-19 infection.
The 15 countries on this list include Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Barbuda, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Curacao and Cuba. Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Nevis, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia and Sint Maarten.
Several additional nations in the Caribbean received level-three travel warnings. This warning level indicates severe risk of COVID-19 infection.
Nations on the level-three warning list include Anguilla, Cayman Islands, Caicos, Grenadines, Saint Vincent, Tobago, Trinidad and Turks.
The Dominican Republic, a level-two country, received an “exercise caution” statement from the United States State Department.
Travel advisories typically consider a nation’s crime rate, known level of terrorist activity, potential for severe weather and natural disasters, current events and health issues. COVID-19 remains as the primary health issue affecting these travel advisories.
Travelers who already booked a trip to a country now rated with a level-four warning may not have recourse unless their airline or cruise ship cancels the trip. Those who plan to take the trip anyway should practice good hygiene, wear face coverings and complete their COVID-19 vaccinations before traveling.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 30 million travelers visited the Caribbean each year. Tourism accounts for a significant amount of the GDP in all Caribbean nations.
The travel and tourism industry provides 44% of Aruba’s GDP. Anguilla, the country with the lowest tourism levels in the Caribbean, earns 16.5% of its GDP from tourism and travel dollars.
About 1.3 million residents of the Caribbean work in the travel and tourism industries. This amounts to about 5.5% of all jobs in these nations.