Skip to content

New CDC warnings for several Caribbean destinations over COVID-19

Jan. 08, 2022
4 min read
New CDC warnings for several Caribbean destinations over COVID-19
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offered its first weekly travel advisory updates of the new year, and it includes a strong warning to "avoid travel" to Aruba due to a "very high risk" of COVID-19.

The CDC also updating its warning levels on several other popular Caribbean destinations including the Bahamas and St. Martin.

To stay up to date on travel news and advice from TPG, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Aruba was added to Level 4, the CDC's highest-risk category when determining COVID risk levels. Countries are moved to Level 4 when more than 500 positive cases per 100,000 residents are detected in the past 28 days.

"Because of the current situation in Aruba, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants," the CDC declared on its official website.

Aruba, one of the most popular winter getaways, is still open for travel and airlines are still flying there. It has its own entry requirements for travelers coming from nations deemed high-risk. The U.S. is currently labeled a high-risk country.

Related: Complete reopening guide to Aruba

"Anyone traveling to Aruba from a location classified as high-risk will need to complete the PCR testing requirement 2 days prior to departure to Aruba regardless of vaccination status and will not have the option to test upon arrival in Aruba," states a notice on VisitAruba.com. Travelers must also complete an online Embarkation/Disembarkation card and purchase Aruba Visitors Insurance, according to the Aruba Tourism Authority.

Aruba isn't the only Caribbean destination to have its COVID warning level increased. The CDC also placed The Bahamas and Sint Maarten at Level 3, indicating a "high level" of coronavirus transmission on those islands. It warns that unvaccinated travelers "should avoid nonessential travel" to both Sint Maarten and the Bahamas

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Other Caribbean islands have revised their own travel entry requirements due to the continued spread of the omicron variant. This includes the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Barbados.

According to the USVI Department of Tourism, all domestic travelers, regardless of vaccination status, must show proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen or PCR test taken within three days of travel. This abbreviates the previous testing window, which had been five days.

Puerto Rico has also cracked down on entry protocols. All domestic travelers to have a negative COVID-19 rapid or PCR test taken within 48 hours of their arrival, regardless of their vaccination status, according to Discover Puerto Rico. Unvaccinated travelers must now quarantine for seven days upon arrival, whether their test is negative or not.
Previously, unvaccinated travelers had no mandatory quarantine. You can find full details about travel requirements to Puerto Rico on the Discover Puerto Rico website.

Related: TPG reader story: What it was like to test positive on our way home from vacation

The Bahamas and Barbados have both revised entry regulations with regards to COVID tests.

Barbados now allows travelers to either show proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid test taken within one day of arrival on the island, or proof of a negative PCR test taken within 3 days of arrival, per information on VisitBarbados.org. Unvaccinated visitors must quarantine at pre-approved accommodations for seven days, and take a PCR test on day five.

The Bahamas will now let vaccinated travelers show either a negative rapid antigen test or an RT-PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. Unvaccinated travelers 12 years and older must continue to present a negative RT-PCR test within three days of arrival. Anyone presenting test results older than 72 hours will be denied entry to the islands.

A rapid antigen test now is required for all travelers staying in the Bahamas longer than 48 hours (two nights), regardless of vaccination status.

Featured Image by Nisangha for Getty Images

Featured image by Getty Images/iStockphoto
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.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
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.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    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.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023