US still urging citizens to reconsider travel to Jamaica

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Four months after the US urged Americans to reconsider visiting Jamaica due to crime, listing eight of the country’s 14 parishes as having an “increased risk”, the US Department of State has reissued the level three travel advisory for the Caribbean island.

And, the parishes previously listed as areas Americans should not travel to, remain the same.

In the latest travel advisory updated on Wednesday, October 5, US citizens are being warned against travelling to Clarendon, Hanover, Kingston and St Andrew, all of Montego Bay, St Ann, St Catherine, St James, and Westmoreland due to crime.

The US especially warned its citizens to only go to Clarendon if they’re transiting to other parishes and to stay on the highway.

According to the US State Department, violent crimes, such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides, are common in Jamaica.

“Sexual assaults occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts. Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. Emergency services vary throughout the island, and response times may vary from US standards,” the State Department said.

The homicide rate reported by the Government of Jamaica for several years has been among the highest in the Western Hemisphere, it continued adding that State Department said US Government personnel are prohibited from travelling to several areas here, from using public buses, and from driving outside of prescribed areas of Kingston at night.

Travel advisories come in four warning levels. Countries are placed into these categories depending on the risks travellers face when visiting. They are as follows:

  • Level 1: Exercise normal precautions – the lowest travel advisory level reserved for the safest countries 
  • Level 2: Exercise increased caution – issued for countries that are mostly safe with perhaps a few areas of concern travellers should be aware of
  • Level 3 – Reconsider travel – given for countries where the threat to travellers is so strong that they should reconsider their plans 
  • Level 4 – Do not travel – countries at this level carry such a strong risk of harm to travellers that they are advised not to visit 

Other countries for which level three travel advisories have been issued include Pakistan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, due to terrorism, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo due to crime and civil unrest. 

The US Department of State issued travel advisories for more than 100 countries this week.


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