Coronavirus
DOM | Jul 2, 2022

CDC elevates COVID-19 warning level for Dom Rep

/ Our Today

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A Dominican flag billowing in the sea breeze at Higüey’s Dreams Palm Beach. (Photo: Twitter DreamsPBeach)

Durrant Pate/Contributor

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has elevated the COVID-19 travel risk warning for the Dominican Republic from Level 2 (Moderate) to Level 3 (High).

This is indicative of greater spread of the disease and a stronger risk of transmission for visitors to the popular Caribbean destination.

The CDC is advising American travellers, who are not up-to-date on their vaccinations, including eligible booster shots to avoid travelling to the Dominican Republic and it is recommended that all visitors ages two and older wear masks in public indoor settings.

The Level 3 rating from the CDC is now the highest-level travel advisory after the American public health agency overhauled its warning levels on April 18. With the addition of the Dominican Republic to the list on June 27, there are now 113 countries around the world at that same classification of travel risk.

The Dominican Republic had previously been classified at a Level 2, “moderate” risk. Cruise lines calling on the Dominican Republic in the next few weeks include Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Virgin Voyages, MSC Cruises, and Celebrity Cruises.

At this time, no cruise lines have announced itinerary changes or port cancellations for visits to the Dominican Republic, nor are cruise lines reinstating onboard mask mandates or other elevated health protocols for ships visiting either Amber Cove or Puerto Plata. Guests can, of course, always choose to wear masks, increase their use of hand sanitizer, or opt to stay onboard when their ship visits any port of call with an elevated risk level.

Other Level 3 cruise ports

In addition to the Dominican Republic, other destinations listed as Level 3 include popular Caribbean cruise ports such as Mexico, Jamaica, the Turks and Caicos (Grand Turk), Belize, The Bahamas, Aruba, Bermuda, Curaçao, and the Cayman Islands.

The travel blanket for American travellers largely encompasses the entire region.

Other popular cruise ports elsewhere in the world classified at Level 3 include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and many more. Many of these destinations have been at the Level 3 rating since April 18, 2022, when the CDC first updated its classifications.

Threat levels in different parts of the world are constantly being evaluated and updated with the newest countries added to a threat level at the top of the list. Level 3 is currently the most popular classification of COVID-19 risk, with 113 countries currently listed.

In the Level 2 “moderate” classification, 21 countries are listed, including cruise destinations such as Sweden and Colombia. The Level 1 “low” classification has 47 countries listed, including Haiti, which shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic.

Level 4 is reserved for “special circumstances” such as new emerging variants of dangerous concern, extremely high case counts, or collapsing healthcare infrastructure, such as overwhelmed hospitals and extreme staff shortages. There are currently no listings for any countries at Level 4.

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