Skip to content

Martinique asks tourists to 'leave the territory,' a sign that the delta variant is impacting travel

Aug. 13, 2021
4 min read
Martinique asks tourists to 'leave the territory,' a sign that the delta variant is impacting travel
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.

Summer 2021 was, for some, supposed to be a big rebound for travel.

The U.S. hotel industry in June recorded its highest monthly occupancy and revenue per available room since October 2019. Domestic air travel demand had reached pre-pandemic levels, with the Transportation Security Administration regularly screening over 2 million passengers a day. And popular destinations like Canada and the European Union reopened to vaccinated American travelers.

But there are signals around the globe that the delta coronavirus variant is negatively impacting travel.

While 60% of Americans over 12 are fully vaccinated, large parts of the world still wait for vaccines. Now, one popular Caribbean destination has closed for tourism, while others introduce restrictions. Here’s what you need to know.

For more TPG travel news and tips delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our free daily newsletter!

The latest

Martinique – Saint-Pierre. Photo by Luc Olivier / Getty Images

French overseas territory Martinique went into a lockdown on Aug. 10, expected to last at least three weeks. During the lockdown, beaches, cultural and leisure sites, and non-essential businesses are closed. Residents can only travel within a kilometer of their homes, and a curfew between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. has been put in place.

But tourists have been asked to leave, a sign that some travel may be regressing to the early days of the pandemic. In announcing the restrictions, Stanislas Cazelles, the prefect for Martinique, asked “all vulnerable tourists to leave the territory.”

“We will be entering a second phase of lockdown,” Cazelles said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists Martinique in its highest level 4 designation and advises against all travel to the island.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

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 rates increase, decrease or remain stable). Level 4 notices indicate an area with at least 100 new cases per 100,000 people.

Martinique has reported nearly 28,000 positive cases of the coronavirus -- over 15,000 of them reported in the last 28 days -- and 184 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 tracker. Just under 87,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered on the island.

Other countries that have put restrictions in place

French Polynesia (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Other French overseas territories popular with tourists include Guadeloupe, French Polynesia, Saint Martin and Reunion Island. Many have implemented measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Guadeloupe, for instance, is under lockdown from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., which went into effect on Aug. 4. Bars, gyms and swimming pools are closed, while restaurants are open for midday service, according to EuroNews. The head of the island’s health agency called the COVID-19 situation “catastrophic,” saying the island exceeded 3,000 cases per week. In the Indian Ocean, Reunion Island is also under a partial lockdown, while French Polynesia is under an overnight curfew.

Other places -- some of which had dropped restrictions earlier this year -- have imposed regulations to slow the spread of the virus.

Hawaii announced on Aug. 10 that restaurant and bar capacity would be reduced to 50% due to an increase in positive cases. Social gatherings are now limited to no more than 10 people indoors and no more than 25 outdoors. “High-risk” indoor activities such as bars, restaurants, gyms and social establishments are capped at 50%. Hawaii’s governor said the new measures resulted from the highly transmissible delta variant and said the situation “requires immediate and serious attention.”

Elsewhere, New York City will require proof of coronavirus vaccination to dine indoors at restaurants and participate in other indoor activities. The policy is expected to begin this month and is an attempt to encourage more people to get vaccinated.

Featured image by Martinique – Saint-Pierre. Photo by Luc Olivier / 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.

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 for the well-traveled foodie
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
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 bonus points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
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

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
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

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • 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.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees