Jamaica vacation plans? CDC, State Department say avoid travel to the Caribbean island – USA TODAY

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. State Department raised their travel alert levels for Jamaica due to the number of COVID-19 cases and other factors.

The CDC on Tuesday raised Jamaica to a level 4, which signifies “very high” COVID levels and means travelers should avoid travel to the popular Caribbean vacation destination. Those who must travel to Jamaica, the CDC travel health notice says, should be be fully vaccinated.

The State Department on Tuesday raised its travel advisory for Jamaica to level 4, which means do not travel, due to COVID cases and crime in certain areas of Kingston, Montego Bay and Spanish Town.

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Plenty of other vacation destinations are rated level 4 by the CDC, including the Bahamas, U.S. Virgin Islands, France and the United Kingdom.

The CDC raised the alert levels last week for Puerto Rico, Guam, Saint Lucia and Switzerland to Guam, among other destinations, to level 4.

The CDC assesses COVID-19 risk based on each destination’s new cases and new case trajectory. The Travel Health Notice level can be raised if a large increase in COVID-19 cases is reported or a destination’s case count meets or exceeds the threshold for a higher level for 14 straight days. Level 4 destinations have more than 500 new cases per 100,000 people over the past 28 days or more than 500 cases period if their population is smaller than 100,000.

Contributing: Eve Chen, USA TODAY