Whilst the darkest days of the pandemic – with its strict, ever changing entry requirements and restrictions – may be behind us, there are still various risks associated with traveling that it’s important to be aware of.
For several years now, the US State Department’s travel advisory warning system has kept travelers in the loop regarding all of the possible risks that come from international travel, providing succinct, up to date information about specific issues and problems in each destination.
A perfect starting place for any traveler looking to do their research before going abroad, the most recent travel advisories have featured several of the United States’ favorite international destinations, including many countries in the Caribbean. Here’s a look at the most recent travel advisories handed to popular Caribbean destinations.
Caribbean Travel Advisories – Information For Travelers
Travel advisories come in four distinct levels of severity. They range as follows:
- Level 1 – Exercise Normal Precautions
- Level 2 – Exercise Increased Precautions
- Level 3 – Reconsider Travel
- Level 4 – Do Not Travel
Despite the strict wording on Level 4 – telling travelers not to visit a destination – travel advisories carry no legal ability to prevent a traveler from visiting a destination. They do however provide information that allows a traveler to make their own decision.
Fortunately for travelers with eyes on visiting the Caribbean this summer, several of the most popular destinations have Level 1 advisories, meaning they are considered amongst the safest destinations by the State Department. Aruba, Barbados, and Saint Lucia each carry a Level 1 travel advisory, meaning there are no specific issues travelers should be worried about – though the CDC indicates that each of these destinations has a high level of Covid-19.
Several popular destinations also received Level 2 travel advisory updates. According to the State Department, travelers must exercise increased caution in Cuba due to demonstrable and sometimes debilitating injuries to members of our diplomatic community resulting in the drawdown of embassy staff. Cuba also has a high level of Covid-19. Travelers must also exercise increased caution in the Dominican Republic and The Bahamas due to the risk of violent crime. Both of these destinations have a moderate level of Covid-19.
Some extremely popular Caribbean destinations have also been handed the more severe Level 3 advisories, most notably Jamaica. The State Department warns travelers against travel to Jamaica, due to the threat of violent crimes, such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides. The country also has several areas that the government warns against visiting at all. The Cayman Islands have also been designated as a Level 3 country, whilst both destinations have a high level of Covid-19.
American travelers will be relieved to learn that no popular Caribbean destinations have been awarded a Level 4 travel advisory, meaning that they are not considered to be amongst the most dangerous destinations. The only country in the region to have a Level 4 advisory is Haiti, which has received one as a result of kidnapping, crime, and civil unrest. Haiti has been assessed as having a low level of Covid-19.
Yet whilst most of the popular Caribbean destinations have low travel advisory levels, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t without risk. Travelers heading abroad to both new and familiar destinations must always ensure they are aware of their surroundings and not drawing any unwanted attention in their direction. Travelers should also ensure they have a solid travel insurance policy in order to keep them protected in the event that the worst does happen.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories