ST. JOHN’S — The U.S. Department of State is recommending U.S. travelers reconsider travel to Antigua and Barbuda due to “health and safety measures and COVID-related conditions.”
Issued Monday, the State Department travel advisory noted “some areas” of the Caribbean nation have “increased risk,” and directs potential travelers to visit the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the OECS’s COVID-19 page for more information on the pandemic in Antigua and Barbuda.
The advisory follows the publication earlier this month of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Level 2 travel health notice reducing the dual-island nation’s COVID-19 risk categorization from level four to level two. The status change was prompted by “intervention” by Sir Ronald Sanders, Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States, according to a Caribbeannationalweekly.com report.
Earlier this month, CDC raised pandemic risk assessments for Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, The Bahamas, Haiti, Belize, Bonaire, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Saint Maarten, Sint Eustatius, Suriname, Sint Martin, the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos Islands from level three to level four, the highest on the risk assessment scale.
Travelers are advised to “avoid all travel to” level four destinations. Ironically, several of the risk four-category territories, including Jamaica, The Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Sint Maarten and the Turks & Caicos, have accepted travelers for several weeks, with most reporting relatively low COVID-19 infection rates.
Antigua and Barbuda, for example, has recorded 141 confirmed COVID-19 cases and four deaths. The territory currently has seven active cases, “of which just one is new,” according to the Caribbeannationalweekly.com report.
Even the State Department advisory notes “Antigua and Barbuda has lifted stay-at-home orders, and resumed some transportation options, and businesses operations.”