Jamaica’s immediate and short-term tourism prospects were dealt a potentially severe blow on Tuesday, September 7 as the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) added the island to its list of highest-risk destinations for travellers.
A significant majority of the tourists who visit Jamaica are from the United States.
“People should avoid travelling to locations designated with the ‘Level 4: COVID-19 Very High’ notice,” the CDC recommended. It said anyone who must travel to those destinations should be fully vaccinated.
The CDC’s evolving list of travel notices ranges from Level 1, which is deemed to be low, to Level 4, which is listed as very high.
According to the CDC, destinations that fall into the Level 4 category have had more than 500 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.
With the Delta variant driving a deadly third wave of the coronavirus in Jamaica, the CDC cited that Jamaica’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign has had low numbers so far, with only 19 doses given per 100 people as of Tuesday.
Jamaica’s third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic started around mid-July and escalated rapidly in August with increased infections, hospitalisations and deaths.