British Virgin Islands

Wednesday, Sep 22, 2021

CDC urges Americans to avoid travel to Saint Lucia

CDC urges Americans to avoid travel to Saint Lucia

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Saint Lucia due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in the country.
"Avoid travel to Saint Lucia. If you must travel to Saint Lucia, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel. Because of the current situation in Saint Lucia, even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants."

Tourists are advised against travelling to Saint Lucia due to the high rate of COVID-19 on the island.

The advisory was updated on August 30, 2021. Switzerland, Puerto Rico, North Macedonia, Guam, Estonia and Azerbaijan were all raised to Level 4 in the latest batch of updates as well.

Saint Lucia is currently experiencing a fourth wave of the virus, for the first time also dealing with the confirmed presence of the more contagious Delta variant on island, forcing the government to tighten COVID-19 protocols including imposing stricter curfews.

The Ministry of Health gave an update on the current situation stating, "From July 25, 2021, we note 2,583 cases at an average of 74 cases per day. Over the last 14 days we note five COVID-19 deaths and we have 1,970 active cases in country. The daily infection rate for the past week was 72.9 per 100,000 per day and an average of 132.0 cases per day.

In relation to this new wave, from July 25, 2021, 2,583 persons were positive. 51% are in the age group 25-49 years. 59% of the cases are female. The majority of the cases are from Castries, Gros- Islet, Babonneau and Dennery. Based on contact tracing data, the majority of the cases diagnosed are related to social activities. To date, from the positive cases diagnosed in country, 1.66% have been fully vaccinated."

The ministry continued, "The response last weekend was not encouraging as the report from the enforcement agency included numerous breaches to curfew, large mass crowd activities at bars, beaches and private parties. We continue to ask the public to work with us and exhibit responsible behaviour to manage this fourth COVID-19 wave.

This past week, the Ministry of Health and Wellness has continued collaboration with the Minibus Association. These meetings were aimed at discussing and strengthening collaborations and efforts in order to reduce the COVID-19 risk and to manage the spike in cases.

We continue to note positive cases related to this sector. We advise that the minibus drivers carry 10 or less passengers per load and that everyone keeps their mask on during the journey. Also, regular sanitation after every trip. It is important that the transmission risk be minimized to all who uses this valuable service.

At present we have available both the Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccine free of charge in country at the various wellness centers. Vaccination remains the most effective public health measure in managing infectious diseases. These vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective in protecting persons from developing COVID-19, its severe forms, complications, hospitalizations and death.

We continue to urge the public to access the various sites to get immunized at the soonest. Encourage your family and friends to get immunized so we can all be protected. We continue to advise the public to remain vigilant as increased transmission and risk of the Variants of Concerns is present. Let us all adhere to the protocols that are put in place to keep us safe. These include regular hand washing, use of face mask in public places, avoiding crowds and persons with respiratory symptoms and keeping frequently touched surfaces clean."

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