Cruises are set to return to the Bahamas in a matter of weeks, so of course the CDC issued an upgraded warning for travel to the islands. In an update on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, the organization urges that travelers, both vaccinated and not, avoid all travel to the Bahamas. The CDC’s travel warning is now at “Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19 in the Bahamas.”
The move is not without reason, however. The Bahamas is currently experiencing it’s worst COVID-19 spike since last October and health officials on the islands are debating reentering lockdowns to help curb the spread of the disease. Of the nearly 400,000 residents of the Bahamas, just 15,000 have been vaccinated against COVID-19 to date.
It the CDC’s updated travel warning, they urge those who have been vaccinated to continue practicing social distancing and mask-wearing for the duration of your travel to the Bahamas. Those who haven’t been vaccinated are urged to avoid travel entirely. If you’ve been vaccinated, there’s no need to get tested for COVID-19 prior to your trip nor is there any need to self-quarantine upon arrival.
Cruise Ships to Homeport in Nassau
While the news is frustrating for cruisers, it must be even more so for cruise lines like Royal Caribbean International who have plans to homeport ships in the Bahamas in the coming weeks. Adventure of the Seas is set to begin sailing from Nassau on June 12th.
At the time of the announcement, Hubert Minnis, prime minister of the Bahamas, said “I am especially pleased that Royal Caribbean, with whom we have had a long and mutually beneficial relationship for more than 50 years, selected the Bahamas as a homeport when sailing resumes.”
The Bahamas rely on tourism as a major source of income and cruise ships are certainly a large percentage of that. Any more delays in cruise ships returning to operation in the region is a blow to the islands and all of the people there who work in the tourism sector.
Are Other Islands Next?
Cruise lines are also planning on homeporting ships at other islands in the Caribbean as well since the CDC refuses to allow ships back into American ports. Islands like St. Martin, St. Thomas and the Dominican Republic could be next on the CDC’s do not travel list and that would add to the frustration from cruisers and cruise lines alike.