Written by Steven Christian
Belden Communications News
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has increased the travel advisory for any U.S. citizen traveling to the Bahamas, and St. Maarten, to a level four advisory.
This change in travel advisories is due to the Delta Variant of the COVID-19 virus being on the rise globally in recent weeks. According to the CDC, travelers should avoid traveling to these areas for the time being for both unvaccinated and vaccinated travelers, especially cruise passengers.
Being the Bahama's and St. Maarten are popular cruise destinations, here is what you need to know if you have a cruise itinerary featuring these locations:
Travelers should follow government recommendations or requirements in the Bahamas and St. Maarten, including being vaccinated (recommended) if possible, wearing a mask, staying six feet apart from others, avoiding crowds, and washing and sanitizing hands often.
The Bahamas has already implemented new guidelines ensuring all cruise ship travelers receive a vaccination before allowing entrance into the country. Since the update in the Bahamian guidelines, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line have adjusted their health requirements allowing only fully vaccinated passengers onboard, the only exceptions being children under the age of twelve and those with medical conditions preventing them from being vaccinated.
St. Maarten has not yet updated their health and safety guidelines, although passengers embarking on cruises in St. Maarten must buy COVID-19 insurance from the St. Maarten government, which costs $15 for ages fifteen and older and is free for children under fourteen.
When travelers return from a level-4 Country, all U.S. citizens who have not received a vaccination are advised to self-quarantine and get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel.