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State Department, CDC urge Americans to avoid travel to the Bahamas amid COVID spike

Storm – follow- ups

The State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are urging U.S. travelers not to travel to the Bahamas and several other countries, due to COVID-19 risks.

On Monday, the State Department issued its highest travel alert, “Level 4 – Do Not Travel,” for the Bahamas, Kosovo, Lebanon, Morocco and Sint Maarten, which takes into account CDC travel health notices.

The CDC also lists the Bahamas as “Level 4: Very High” for COVID-19, according to an advisory updated Monday.

According to Johns Hopkins University data, there have been 3,134 confirmed COVID cases in the Bahamas in the last 28 days. That’s nearly a fifth of the small country’s total cases throughout the pandemic. 

Just over 14% of the population is vaccinated.

“Because of the current situation in the Bahamas, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants,” the CDC said.

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The Bahamas issued an emergency order Thursday barring cruise ships from entering ports in the Bahamas with unvaccinated passengers 12 and older who don’t have medical excuses starting Sept. 3.

The CDC’s website said if you must visit Level 4 countries, “make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel.”

The State Department regularly issues travel alerts for countries based on a variety of factors, including public health and safety risks. It’s issued a string of alerts over the past month, based on dynamically changing CDC travel health notices.

Both the State Department and CDC recently downgraded their travel advisories for Canada, which reopened to U.S. tourists earlier in August.

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