The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a high alert on Jamaica, urging Americans to “avoid all travel” to the island as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The CDC, in a Saturday (November 21) advisory, gave Jamaica a level-four risk alert—the highest warning possible—adding that the island poses a significant risk of infection and spread of COVID-19 during and after visits.
The CDC travel notice further urged if Americans have to travel to Jamaica, they must take every precaution to limit their chances of getting infected and further spread the disease.
Its recommendations include delaying travel altogether, testing before departure, wearing of masks and vigilant sanitisation practises, as well as adhering to social distancing while travelling.
The federal agency also warned Americans that if they become exposed to COVID-19 on their return home, they will have to prove they are able to self-isolate or risk being denied re-entry.
“If you get sick with COVID-19 or test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 while abroad, you might not be permitted to return to the United States until you can end isolation,” the agency said.
“If you are exposed to someone with COVID-19 during travel, you might be quarantined and not be permitted to return to the United States until 14 days after your last known exposure,” the CDC added.
As at Monday, Jamaica recorded 59 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the national tally to 10,343. A 78-year-old Westmoreland native was the latest COVID-related fatality, which leaves the island’s death toll at 239.
Not just Jamaica…or the Caribbean
The CDC travel advisory was largely a global blanket and covered countries across all continents.
The alert also listed regional level four designees including: Cuba, Martinique, Aruba, Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten and St Martin, Antigua and Barbuda, Guadeloupe, The Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, US Virgin Islands, Haiti, Belize, French Guiana, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, and the Dominican Republic.
Barbados, Dominica, St Lucia, Saint-Barthélemy were determined to be at a level three or moderate risk of COVID-19 transmission, while Anguilla, Bermuda, St Kitts and Nevis, British Virgin Islands, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Monserrat, Grenada, and the Cayman Islands were classified as low risk.
In fact, large swathes of the Americas, from Canada in the north to Argentina in the south, have been inlcuded in to CDC advisory.
Back in August, the US Embassy in Kingston had issued a level-three advisory on Jamaica, urging Americans to reconsider travel to the island amid a surge in coronavirus cases.