Just as the summer cruise travel season begins, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has elevated its COVID-19 warning level for three popular Caribbean island destinations, placing them at Level 3. Anguilla, Jamaica, and Turks & Caicos have all been moved to the “high” risk category.
Popular Destinations at High Risk of COVID-19
The CDC revised the travel warning level for Anguilla, Jamaica, and Turks & Caicos on May 31, 2022.
This new advisory recommends that travelers who are not up-to-date on their vaccines – a full initial vaccination series plus a booster shot when eligible – avoid travel to destinations classified as Level 3.
Furthermore, travelers who are considered at higher personal vulnerability due to a weakened immune system or other health risks should avoid travel to Level 3 regions.
Anguilla is part of the British Virgin Islands east of Puerto Rico, and is a less common call on Eastern Caribbean itineraries as well as exotic cruises exploring lesser-known destinations. Seabourn, Windstar Cruises, and Silversea Cruises occasionally offer calls in Anguilla.
Jamaica is one of the most popular ports of call in the Caribbean, with all major cruise lines offering visits to either Ocho Rios or Montego Bay, with smaller ports on other parts of the island often servicing smaller cruise lines as well.
Turks & Caicos is another very popular Caribbean port of call, and Grand Turk is a cruise passenger favorite. All major cruise lines visit Grand Turk, which is ideal for snorkeling, diving, and other water sports, and the island has already received more than 170,000 cruise guests in 2022.
At this time, no cruise lines have altered itineraries or changed port visit plans due to this change in CDC travel warning level.
Such changes may be possible should conditions worsen or if the ports opt to implement more rigorous health protocols that may make cruise visits less practical, such as requiring additional COVID-19 tests for cruise travelers.
About CDC Warning Levels
Level 3 is now the highest standard warning of COVID-19 risk on the CDC’s travel health notices. To be classified as Level 3, a region must have at least 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population in the past 28 days.
Other metrics, such as recent changes in case trajectory and test-to-case ratios, are also considered when assigning warning levels.
There is a Level 4 designation that is more severe than Level 3, but it is classified as “Special Circumstances” and is reserved for extreme changes in cases, new variants of concern, local healthcare infrastructure collapse, and other mitigating factors. There are currently no areas anywhere in the world designated as Level 4.
In addition to Anguilla, Jamaica, and Turks & Caicos, other popular Caribbean cruise destinations that are currently listed as Level 3 warnings include Belize, The Bahamas, Barbados, Grand Cayman, and more.
Other popular cruise destinations worldwide listed as Level 3 include Italy, Greece, Singapore, Canada, Norway, Spain, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom.
Many destinations listed as Level 3 have been under that warning advisory for several weeks, and cruise visits have continued with appropriate precautions and protocols.
Guests booked on upcoming sailings should always stay alert to possible changes in regional health advisories, as well as stay in contact with their cruise line for updates on necessary testing and vaccination requirements as well as health protocols for their cruise vacation.