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5 Caribbean destinations added to CDC 'avoid travel' list

Jamaica and the Dominican Republic are among the 116 countries and territories the CDC has designated as a "very high" COVID-19 risk for travelers.

WASHINGTON — Several popular vacation destinations are among the 15 countries and territories added this week to a growing list of places the top U.S. health agency warns Americans should avoid due to COVID-19

There are now 116 places that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have designated as being a "very high" COVID-19 risk for travelers.

The latest additions to the list in the Caribbean includes Jamaica, Saint Barthelemy, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe and Saint Martin. The CDC also warned people to "avoid travel" to Colombia, Costa Rica, Fiji, Kuwait, Mongolia, Niger, Peru, Romania, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

On the alerts for these nations, the CDC warns that "even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants" and that travelers should still wear a mask and stay six feet apart from others if visiting there.

The CDC update comes as some countries have begun to roll back certain coronavirus restrictions for travelers. On Monday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says his government will remove coronavirus testing requirements for fully vaccinated people arriving in England. Tourism and travel firms that have been hammered by pandemic restrictions welcomed the move, which makes the U.K. one of the most open countries in the world for international travel. The United Kingdom has been designated as a country with "very high" risk for COVID-19 for 27 weeks straight, since July 2021. 

More than 13 months after the U.S. COVID-19 vaccination campaign began, just 63% of Americans, or 210 million people, are fully vaccinated with the initial rounds of shots.  

The Associated Press contributed to this report.