MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Several Caribbean nations have imposed a travel ban on residents and travelers of the countries hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak, namely Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
In Jamaica, the ban applies to "persons ordinarily resident in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as well as persons who have traveled to or transited through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, within 28 days of having departed from these countries."
Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica and St. Lucia are among a growing group of countries to impose such travel bans.
St. Lucia's prime minister, Kenny Anthony, explained his support for a travel ban was based on economic and infrastructure considerations. St. Lucia, he said, is too poor "to manage any crisis that lands on our doorstep, any crisis of that kind," adding that an outbreak of Ebola would destroy the island's tourism industry, which makes up 60 percent of its GDP.
The U.S. government has been reticent to impose a travel ban on Ebola-affected countries.
While President Barack Obama acknowledged Thursday that he would consider a ban if it were in the country's best interest, his consultations with experts to date, he said, show "that a travel ban is less effective than the measures that we are currently instituting that involve screening passengers who are coming from West Africa -- first of all, screening them before they get on the plane there to see whether they're showing signs of the disease -- and screening them again when they get here, taking their temperature."
The White House has cautioned that a travel ban could prompt travelers from Ebola-affected countries to withhold their travel history and seek alternate routes to enter the U.S. Obama warned that such "broken travel" could result in "more cases rather than less."