These Caribbean Islands Are On The CDC's 'Do Not Travel' List—Here's How Cruise Lines Navigate Covid's Murky Waters - Forbes

It’s getting harder to find a Caribbean cruise itinerary that doesn’t include a stop on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Do Not Travel” list. Over the past few weeks, the list of popular Caribbean cruise ports given the CDC’s dreaded Level 4 designation has ballooned.

The CDC uses a four-level system to alert travelers to health threats around the world. Countries with a Level 4 travel health notice are deemed to have a “very high risk” of Covid-19 with a “Do Not Travel” recommendation for Americans.

The Caribbean islands at Level 4 now include: Aruba, the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St. Barts, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Martin/Sint Maarten and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

It’s an understatement to say that cruise lines and Caribbean nations share a common interest in navigating the murky waters of the Covid pandemic together. The North American cruise market is dominated by the easily accessible Caribbean, Bahamas, and Bermuda.

Likewise, cruising plays an outsized and growing role in the region’s tourism. In 2019, nearly 12 million people visited the Caribbean on a cruise ship, roughly double the 6.2 million recorded in 2010.

Despite rising Covid transmission rates, cruises lines have kept popular Caribbean islands on their itineraries by nimbly adapting their protocols to stay in line with both the CDC guidance and ever-changing restrictions in host countries. “Caribbean destinations...

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