The French government recently decided to resume COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions in two popular Caribbean destinations due to rising infection rates. As a result, the French Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe have asked tourists to depart the islands.
French President Emmanuel Macron described the rising COVID-19 cases as ‘cruel proof’ that vaccines work. This is due to the fact that the under vaccinated population in these French Caribbean islands are experiencing rapidly rising covid cases. The French Government will soon send ICU units and medical military personnel to the French Caribbean to battle the coronavirus spike. The French military will also send planes to bring critically ill COVID patients back to France for treatment.
This is especially concerning compared to France, where more than half the population has been vaccinated. This is partly due to the new digital health pass requirement in the country for entry into bars, restaurants and other indoor venues.
The Coronavirus Situation in Martinique and Guadeloupe
Climbing Covid Rates in Martinique
The World Health Organization has reported that coronavirus cases have increased. Recent data shows 27,883 confirmed cases of the virus with 184 deaths reported since the pandemic began. As of August 2021, less than 20 percent of the island’s residents have received the coronavirus vaccination.
Current Conditions in Martinique
On August 10th the French government reinstated coronavirus restrictions and began a three week lockdown. All beaches and non-essential shops have been ordered closed. The government also advised tourists to leave the island.
Guadeloupe Reports 9,000 New Covid Cases Last Month
Since July, the island has reported these 9,000 new COVID-19 cases to the WHO-this is about a third of the total number of new cases reported since the beginning of the pandemic. This is most likely due to the fact that only 15 percent of Guadeloupe’s local population have been vaccinated. As a result, starting in mid October, the French government will cease to reimburse people for COVID-10 tests. This tactic will be used as an incentive for residents get the vaccine.
Current Conditions in Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe continues to struggle with an alarming rise in cases as their hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID patients. In early August, the hospital system had admitted 10 COVID-19 patients into intensive care in a single day. In response, French government spokesman Gabriel Attal announced August 11th that lockdown measures will resume in order to contain the spike of the coronavirus.
Last week French Health Minister Oliver Veran reached out to volunteer doctors and nurses for help. Veran asked them to come to these overwhelmed territories to relieve the strained local health workers.
For Those Remaining in Martinique & Guadeloupe
Anyone remaining in Martinique will be restricted from traveling anywhere more than a half mile from their home. When away from home, residents and visitors are required to wear a mask and follow social distancing measures of at least six feet apart from others. The island of Guadeloupe faces the same COVID lockdowns and restrictions as Martinique.
United States To Deliver Pfizer Vaccines to Hard Hit Caribbean Destinations
The United States plans to deliver nearly 900,000 Pfizer vaccines to the Caribbean to assist with the fight against the coronavirus. Besides Martinique and Guadeloupe, there has been a surge in COVID cases in the Bahamas, Curacao and Trinidad and Tobago.
Future Travel To Martinique and Guadeloupe
American travelers are advised to frequently check the US Department of State website to get up to date travel information. The website has specific COVID-19 Country Information to help travelers make plans.
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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