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CDC lowers risk warning for Jamaica and the Bahamas

Dec. 23, 2021
3 min read
Woman looking out at the ocean in the Bahamas. (Photo by Dorgie Productions)
CDC lowers risk warning for Jamaica and the Bahamas
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As the omicron variant spreads across the globe, travel is changing by the minute. Countries are adding new restrictions and, in some cases, shutting down — right before the busy holiday season.

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But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently lowered the warning level for two Caribbean destinations popular with Americans, just in time for the holidays. Jamaica and the Bahamas, which were at “Level 3: High Level of COVID-19,” have been lowered to "Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19." Under Level 3, the CDC advises that travelers be fully vaccinated and that unvaccinated travelers should avoid nonessential travel to the destination.

The CDC’s guidance doesn’t change much under Level 2, saying that unvaccinated travelers “who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should avoid nonessential travel to this destination. If you must travel and have concerns, talk to your doctor.”

This ranking is determined based on the number of cumulative new cases per 100,000 people over the past 28 days and new case trajectory (if the new cases rate is going up, down or remaining stable). Level 3 notices indicate an area with at least 100 to 500 new cases per 100,000 people. Level 2 indicates an area with between 50 and 99 cases per 100,000 people. You can read more about how each level is defined on the CDC website.

The U.S. Department of State also has a list of travel advisories related to COVID-19, and both countries are currently at “Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution.”

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If you’re considering a trip to Jamaica or the Bahamas in light of the CDC advisory, here’s what you need to know.

Fully vaccinated travelers staying outside the "resilient corridors" with a negative PCR test taken within three days of departure to Jamaica will not be required to quarantine on arrival. All travelers age 12 and older must show a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken within three days before arrival. Travelers must also submit a travel authorization form. For the latest updates on requirements for travel to Jamaica, check here.

Americans are also allowed to travel to the Bahamas, but all visitors over the age of 2 must show results of a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test taken within five days of arrival, even if you’re vaccinated.

A PCR test is required for unvaccinated travelers 12 and older, even those ages 2 to 11, as the government announced on Dec. 23 that only RT-PCR tests would be accepted, not antigen. (Children under 2 are exempt from the testing rule.) Negative test results must be uploaded when applying for a Bahamas Travel Health Visa. For the latest updates on requirements for travel to the Bahamas, check here.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
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Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
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  • Extended warranty protection
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Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.