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Saint Lucia and 22 Other Tourism Destinations Blacklisted by US CDC

The US-based Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has added Saint Lucia and 22 other countries to its highest warning Level 4 list, making them countries to avoid visiting due to rising cases of COVID-19. Other Caribbean countries include the Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands (BVI), Turks and Caicos Islands, and Suriname. The Level 4 listing now includes greater than 100 countries.

The CDC advises that Level 4 countries needs to be avoided, and that individuals who insist on traveling to those countries that they be fully vaccinated.

The arrival of the Omicron variant has increased the perceived risk of travel to several countries. Many countries paused travel from several African countries after the Omicron variant was discovered, leading to damaging effects to the tourism sector in a dozen nations within the region. Omicron is now ravaging countries throughout, European nations included, though the World Health Organization (WHO) was late in reporting its presence in Europe.

Heavily tourism-dependent Saint Lucia and other Caribbean nations, added to the “No Go” list for American travelers, are doing their best to maintain cruise ships and flights coming, while implementing tough safety standards, including medical declarations covering COVID conditions of all passengers and crew, 24-hours before arrival.

Ships have been prevented from entering and docking in Port Castries, where there are known cases of unacceptable levels of Covid infections on board. Cruise lines serving the island and other regional destinations have, also, been known to cancel cruises at sea, while others have converted ships pulled off scheduled cruises into floating hospitals for passengers and crew, who tested positive for COVID.

Nonetheless, while acknowledging that such news is “bad for the industry”, the cruise lines and Caribbean tourism officials have been cooperating to their mutual advantages. The variety of cruise ships calling into Saint Lucia continues unabated for the reason that Level 4 travel warnings by the CDC.

With cruise bookings made long upfront of departure, local tourism officials are hoping this can provide, what one well-placed official described to Saint Lucia News Online (SLNO), “an initial buffer” against “any negative effects the CDC’s recent motion could have on Saint Lucia and the opposite cruise destinations on the Level 4 list.”

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