These Caribbean Islands Are Now Considered 'Very High' Risk for Travel
A pair of popular Caribbean islands have been placed on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's list of countries Americans should avoid traveling to, joining several others the agency warns against visiting.
Antigua and Barbuda and Curaçao were added to the list this week, according to the CDC handing both spots a "Level 4: COVID-19 Very High" designation. The islands join other popular spots that share the highest warning, including Aruba, Saint Lucia, and Mexico, all of which welcome U.S. tourists.
While the CDC recommends against traveling — and requires all international visitors to test negative for COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the U.S. — the agency does continually update its country-by-country list by risk level. To determine a country's designation, the agency uses COVID-19 data, including from the World Health Organization, and looks at incidence rates and new case trajectories.
Currently, Antigua and Barbuda welcomes U.S. travelers and requires passengers coming by air to arrive with a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within seven days of their flight, according to the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS. Travelers then have to be monitored for COVID-19 for up to 14 days.
Curaçao requires American travelers to arrive with a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours and fill out an online immigration card and Passenger Locator Card within 48 hours of their departure, according to the Curaçao Tourist Board. Travelers also have to have medical insurance to cover them if they become ill with the virus while visiting.
However, not all Caribbean island destinations received the CDC's highest warning. The Bahamas and Bermuda were classified as "Level 3: COVID-19 High," Grenada was considered "Level 2: COVID-19 Moderate," and Anguilla was "Level 1: COVID-19 Low."
While many Caribbean islands have welcomed Americans (with hotels setting up on-site COVID-19 testing to make it easier for people traveling home), some islands have closed their borders amid the emergence of new coronavirus variants. For example, the French Caribbean islands — St. Barts, St. Martin, Martinique, and Guadeloupe — have been shut to most nonessential travelers.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.