US State Department Issues Level 3 Travel Advisory for Jamaica

WASHINGTON, DC – The United States is urging citizens to reconsider traveling to Jamaica due to crime situation in the Caribbean country and also prohibited government personnel from traveling to many areas due to increased risk.

advisotryIn a travel advisory, the US State Department has given the island, the sixth most popular Caribbean cruise destination, with roughly 1.66 million visitors annually, a Level 3 warning of the four-tier system, with only Level 4 “Do Not Travel” considered a more urgent warning.

The travel advisory of a Level 3: Reconsider Travel was first advised for Jamaica in early 2022. But while this new update maintains that advisory, it expands on the discussion of types of crime and specific regions of the country where more crimes are recorded to give travelers the most detailed information to make their travel decisions.

According to the US State Department, violent crimes, such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides, are common. It said sexual assaults occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts.

“Local police often do not respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. When arrests are made, cases are infrequently prosecuted to a conclusive sentence. Families of U.S. citizens killed in accidents or homicides frequently wait a year or more for final death certificates to be issued by Jamaican authorities,” Washington said.

It said emergency services and hospital care vary throughout the island, and response times and quality of care may vary from US standards.

“The homicide rate reported by the Government of Jamaica has for several years been among the highest in the Western Hemisphere,” the advisory said, adding that US government personnel are prohibited from traveling to the several areas, from using public buses, and from driving outside of prescribed areas of Kingston at night.” into Jamaica, saying “this includes stray rounds, shells or empty casings.

“The penalties for carrying firearms and/or ammunition, even inadvertently, are severe, and can include lengthy prison sentences.”

Jamaica has recorded 409 murders so far this year as compared with 489 for the comparison period last year. There have been 336 shootings so far this year as against 389 last year.