US Issues Warning About Travel To Jamaica

US Issues Warning About Travel To Jamaica

( – The US often issues travel advisories to protect citizens from visiting potentially dangerous countries or destinations, and range in levels — the highest being a level 4, urging people to avoid travel. Jamaica has been issued a new level, just in time to warn citizens before booking their summer vacations.

On January 31st, CBS News reported the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the US Department of State issued a travel alert for Jamaica. The alert was raised to level 3, meaning travelers should reconsider trips to the island due to the increased risk of violent crimes, sexual assaults, armed robberies, home invasions, and murders. The change came only a few days after the bureau issued a level 2 advisory for the Bahamas over similar issues — a warning to exercise increased caution.

The Embassy in Jamaica sent out a warning on January 30 outlining the criminal concerns about the region, some of which were occurring frequently, even in all-inclusive resorts. The embassy also warned that police in the area weren’t responding “effectively to serious criminal incidents,” making the problem even more dire. The announcement said even when the authorities make arrests, they’re rarely prosecuted efficiently — if at all.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force reported that 65 homicides were reported since the first of the year. Last year, there were 81 total.

The advisory warned travelers to avoid taking public buses, walking or driving at night, being in secluded places or situations, or attempting to bring ammunition or firearms with them on their travels. If a person absolutely has to travel to the region, the department advises keeping a low profile and staying aware of their surroundings. For those travelers, the embassy in Jamaica reminded visitors that most medical services in the area are not covered by US health insurance and they should get travelers insurance beforehand or risk big bills upon their return to the states.

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