While travel continues to open up around the world, many U.S. travelers are planning their winter getaways to popular sunny destinations. Before booking your flight, ensure you know the current advisory in place for the country you plan on traveling to this winter. In terms of Covid-19, some countries are fairing far better than others and it’s always important to know about any trending crime waves that may affect your travel plans.
Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution
Topping our list of popular winter destinations for U.S. tourists is the Dominican Republic. Currently ranked as a level 2 which means exercise increased caution, the US State Department has given the island the lowest risk assessment on our list.
This rating comes mostly due to the fact that the CDC (Center for Disease Control) has ranked the Covid-19 risk as only moderate.
While the Covid-19 risk in the Dominican Republic may be low, violent crime including armed robberies, homicide and sexual assault is still a concern in many parts of the country. Tourists areas remain far safer and the country has recently deployed a new police force solely focused on protecting tourists.
Level 3 – Reconsider Travel
Mexico is by far American’s favorite winter destination. With tens of millions of U.S. travelers escaping the cold to Mexico each year, the country invests large amounts of money into keeping tourists safe despite having some of the most dangerous cities in the world. Resort cities including Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos are the safest bet for tourists.
The U.S. State Department currently has a level 3 which means ‘reconsider travel to Mexico due to covid-19.’ In terms of crime, Mexico is a diverse and large country with each state be ranked independently in terms of risk level.
Currently there are Level 4 ‘Do Not Travel’ warning in place for the following states in Mexico.
While Mexico has made headlines in recent years for its high murder rates and gang violence, these are rarely targeted at tourists, especially in popular resort cities.
Level 4 – Do Not Travel
Jamaica is another popular winter getaway for Americans attracting millions of visitors every winter. The U.S. State Department has issued its highest degree of warning a ‘Level 4 – Do Not Travel due to Covid-19’. The CDC has issued the warning after high transmission rates of Covid-19 have been identified.
All travelers headed to Jamaica should ensure their insurance is valid during a level 4 travel advisory. Many policies are void if the highest level warning has been issued. Companies such as SafetyWing will still cover travelers regardless of travel warnings.
In terms of Crime in Jamaica, the US State Department encourages tourists to exercise increased caution and stay within tourism areas.
There are currently areas of Kingston and and Montego Bay where travelers have been told to avoid all travel. Travelers should avoid walking alone or driving at night.
Level 4 – Do Not Travel
Costa Rica has been issued a Level 4 ‘Do Not Travel’ by the U.S. State Department due to Covid-19. The CDC suggests that all U.S. travelers headed to Costa Rica should be vaccinated against Covid-19 to reduce the risk.
The US State Department has also warned to exercise increased caution due to crime.
Level 4 – Do Not Travel
The US State Department has issued a Level 4 ‘Do Not Travel’ to the Bahamas due to high levels of Covid-19. All travelers headed to the Bahamas should be fully vaccinated according to the CDC.
Travelers are also warned in exercise increase caution due to crime when visiting the cities of Nassau and Freeport. While most crime occurs outside of tourist areas, travelers are encouraged to know where they are going and avoid exploring areas not frequented by tourists.
A reminder that a level 4 travel advisory strongly suggests that you shouldn’t travel to a certain destination. It does not mean that you can’t. Each traveler should assess their own comfort level, vaccination status and check with their travel insurance provider to ensure they are covered for unexpected medical expenses.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories