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HomeUSTravel warnings issued for Caribbean islands including Jamaica and Bahamas

Travel warnings issued for Caribbean islands including Jamaica and Bahamas

Wikimedia heather0714 Le port de Montego Bay

On January 30, the State Department changed the Travel Advisory for Jamaica. A recent advisory from the US Embassy in Jamaica asked Americans to reconsider travel to Jamaica. The reasons for the advisory included crime and medical services. Earlier, there was an advisory for citizens to avoid traveling to the Bahamas. These recent advisories came before Americans planned to travel this winter and for Spring Break.

The recent warning from the US Embassy is considered a level 3 warning, and a level 4 warning is the most severe as it warns Americans not to travel to such countries.

The Jamaica advisory stated, “Violent crimes such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults and homicides, are common. Sexual assaults occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts.”

The advisory also said that responses to severe crimes were slow. It said response time and quality care for emergency services and hospital care varied and differed from US standards. It also mentioned that US insurance did not work on the island and that visitors should get travel insurance, including medical evacuation before travel.

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The US Embassy also said that Jamaica had a high homicide rate. The Jamaican Constabulary Force reported 65 murders from January 1 to January 27, 2024. This shocking number is a little less than in 2023 when 81 murders were reported in the same period. Jamaica has been reporting at least 1000 murders per year since 2003; it has a population of approximately 2.8 million people.

On January 24, 2024, the US Embassy in Nassau (Bahamas) made US citizens aware that 18 murders had taken place in Nassau since the beginning of January this year. The advisory also stated, “Murders have occurred at all hours, including broad daylight on the streets. Retaliatory gang violence has been the primary motive in 2024 murders.”

The US State Department has put the Bahamas on “exercise increased caution” advisory. This is considered to be level 2.

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