If you were thinking of jetting off to the Bahamas soon, you may want to reconsider. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently added six new destinations, including the Bahamas, to its highest risk travel advisory.
The CDC has been updating its COVID-19 travel advisories throughout the pandemic. There are four levels, Level 1: COVID-19 Low, Level 2: COVID-19 Moderate, Level 3: COVID-19 High, and Level 4: COVID-19 Very High. On August 23rd, six destinations were added to Level 4 including:
- The Bahamas
- San Martin
Destinations that fall into the Level 4 category have had more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days according to CDC criteria. The Level 3 category applies to destinations that have had between 100-500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days. The Bahamas was previously classified as Level 3.
Destinations in Level 4: COVID-19 Very High comes with a CDC warning to “avoid travel to these destinations. If you must travel to these destinations make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel”.
The Bahamas has been open to tourism but has seen a recent surge in cases. The Prime Minister of the Bahamas recently implemented a pandemic curfew on Exuma, Abaco, and parts of Andros.
“Because of the current situation in the Bahamas, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants,” the CDC wrote in its advisory. “Travelers should follow recommendations or requirements in the Bahamas, including wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart from others.”
The Bahamas recently implemented a vaccine mandate for cruise ships docking there and updated its entry requirements stating that all international travelers are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, even when fully vaccinated.
It’s not only these six destinations that have seen an increase in a travel advisory. Ten other destinations were moved to Level 3 on August 23rd. The CDC’s guide urges only fully vaccinated people to travel to Level 3 locations. Unvaccinated travelers are urged to avoid all unnecessary travel to these places.
In its broader travel guide, the CDC has recommended avoiding all international travel until you are fully vaccinated.
“Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to contract and transmit Covid-19. However, international travel presents additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers could be at increased risk of contracting and possibly spreading some variants of Covid-19,” the agency said.