Is it safe to travel to the Caribbean?

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A category four storm – known as Hurricane Beryl – has made landfall in the Caribbean and has been causing destruction in the area since Monday 1 July. Hurricane Beryl first made landfall in Grenada, and has since passed through Jamaica. This is everything you need to know about what’s happening in the Caribbean right now, if it’s safe to travel there and whether you should cancel your holiday.

What is happening during Hurricane Beryl in the Caribbean?

At the time of writing (Thursday 4 July), Hurricane Beryl is a category three storm. Before today, it was classed as a category five (the strongest category on the scale) and category four storm, which means experts predicted catastrophic damage to buildings and significant power damage. After Hurricane Beryl made landfall in Carriacou, Grenada, the storm passed through Jamaica on the evening of Wednesday 3 July. An island-wide overnight curfew was enacted, and a flash flood warning is currently in place. Several deaths have been reported.

Where is Hurricane Beryl currently?

At the time of writing (Thursday 4 July), the hurricane is passing south of the Cayman Islands.

Where is the path of the hurricane heading?

Hurricane Beryl is expected to travel from the Cayman Islands towards Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and Belize on Thursday 4 July. From there, it is expected that the hurricane will be downgraded to a tropical storm before it emerges in the Gulf of Mexico. If Hurricane Beryl retains its strength, it could hit parts of the US, such as Louisiana and Texas.

Is it safe to travel to the Caribbean?

There’s little official blanket advice on travel to the Caribbean at the moment. The gov.uk website urges travellers to “follow and monitor local and international weather updates from the US National Hurricane Center and follow the advice of local authorities, including any evacuation orders.”

Airlines such as American Airlines, JetBlue and Virgin Atlantic are permitting customers who have booked travel to some affected regions the option of rescheduling their trip further into July – this will likely change as the situation progresses, so we advise contacting your airline directly.

If your trip isn’t scheduled until later in the year, consider all the options before cancelling. “It rarely makes sense to travel into a disaster zone in the immediate aftermath of a crisis,” Juliet Kinsman wrote after the Morocco earthquake of 2023. However, tourism is a significant source of revenue for many places impacted by Hurricane Beryl – consider if it’s possible to postpone a trip rather than cancel it completely.

What about travellers currently in affected areas of the Caribbean?

While some flights to and from affected areas, including Virgin Atlantic flights to Jamaica, have been grounded over the past few days, these are expected to resume as the hurricane moves out of these regions. Travellers have been told to follow the advice of local authorities by sheltering in place when instructed to, and have had their hotel stays extended to allow them to remain inside safely.

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