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August 13, 2020

Caribbean objects to U.S. travel warnings

Posted: Thursday, August 13, 2020. 2:50 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Caribbean Life News reports that the United States of America’s decision to issue travel health notices related to COVID-19 is ironic considering that it has the greatest number of persons infected and killed by COVID-19 worldwide.

Nonetheless, the Atlanta-based U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned U.S. citizens should avoid all nonessential travel to destinations under Warning Level 3 due to the risk of COVID-19, according to Loop News.

Just about all Caribbean islands and dependencies and even CARICOM members on the mainland (Belize, Guyana and Suriname) are affected. 

Meanwhile, a few Caribbean dependencies of the Netherlands (St. Barthélemy, Saba, St. Eustatius and Bonaire) are under Watch Level 1 and travelers there are advised to practice the usual precautions as new cases are decreased or stabilized.

The CDC said that if someone gets sick with COVID-19 (or tests positive for COVID-19, even if they have no symptoms) while abroad, “They may be isolated or not be permitted to return to the United States until they have fully recovered from the illness.”

Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, has sent his written objections. His country has eighteen cases and no deaths, compared to 5.05 million cases and 162,000 deaths in the States.

Skerrit told a local television program that “this unnecessary travel advisory (is) based on nothing really…Dominica is one of the top countries in the management of COVID-19, and we are prepared to share our practices with countries like the United States…But this (advisory) is not necessary and if you are saying don’t come to Dominica, what about your country?”

“Let us not be so indifferent to the plight of the developing world and developing countries like Dominica,” Skerrit added. “We do not have the resources that you have, but we have pride in ourselves, and we are a resilient people. We have been through many challenges, and we have survived.”

“It is unfortunate that this was done, and I am hoping that the United States would fix this,” he concluded.


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