Saturday 19 September, 2020

US tells citizens to reconsider travel to St Lucia due to COVID-19

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a level 3 Travel Health Notice for  Saint Lucia due to COVID-19.  

The 'Level 3: Reconsider Travel' notice asks Americans to avoid travel due to serious risks to safety and security. 

The CDC report on St Lucia states:

"COVID-19 risk in Saint Lucia is high. CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential international travel to Saint Lucia. Some examples of essential travel may include traveling for humanitarian aid work, medical reasons, or family emergencies. Older adults, people of any age with certain underlying medical conditions, and others at increased risk for severe illness should consider postponing all travel, including essential travel, to Saint Lucia.

If you get sick in Saint Lucia and need medical care, resources may be limited. Plan ahead and learn more about Getting Health Care Abroad.

If you get sick with COVID-19 (or test positive for COVID-19, even if you have no symptoms) while abroad, you may be isolated or not be permitted to return to the United States until you have recovered fully from your illness. If you get exposed to a person with COVID-19 while abroad, you may be quarantined or not be permitted to return to the United States until 14 days after your last exposure.

St Lucia has recorded only 25 cases of COVID-19 with just three active cases and zero deaths, among the best COVID-19 outcomes in the world. The United States has recorded over 5 million cases and over 160,000 deaths to date.

St Lucia reopened its borders to international travel, including from the important United States market. The travel advisory could create issues for the tourism sector should Americans be scared off from traveling to St Lucia.

It should be noted that the CDC has given the level 3 notice to the majority of countries in the world.

Some in the region, like The Bahamas and the Dominican Republic, received a level 4 advisory urging Americans not to travel to such destinations.

The other CDC travel notice levels are:

Level 1 - Exercise Normal Precautions: This is the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk. There is some risk in any international travel. Conditions in other countries may differ from those in the United States and may change at any time.       

Level 2 - Exercise Increased Caution: Be aware of heightened risks to safety and security. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time.  

Level 3 – Do Not Travel: This is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks. During an emergency, the U.S. government may have very limited ability to provide assistance. The Department of State advises that U.S. citizens not travel to the country or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time. 

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