jamaica

US State Department Issues Travel Advisory For Jamaica Amid Crime And Health Concerns 

The US State Department has issued a travel advisory for Jamaica among an influx of crime and health concerns. The department issued the advisory last week, stating the following: 

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“Violent crimes, such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides, are common. Sexual assaults occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts. Local police often do not respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.”

The State Department also added to their advisory that in the event of an emergency, “high level or specialized” healthcare options may not be available throughout the entire island nation, and patients would likely be required to pay for medical care. 

Travelers are only being asked to reconsider visiting Jamaica, especially with Spring Break and the summer season coming up quickly. While they have not advised Americans to avoid the nation altogether, they did outline specific high-risk areas in which certain US government personnel are prohibited from traveling due to its risk of crime. 

Montego Bay, downtown Kingston, part of St. Ann’s Parish by Ocho Rios, and certain neighborhoods in Negril are some of the areas mentioned in the advisory to be cautious of visiting, according to USA Today

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Americans who will be traveling to Jamaica and/or the previously mentioned areas specifically, are being advised to always be aware of their surroundings, keep a relatively low profile while you’re there, and avoid public transportation, walking, and/or driving at night. 

Situations where one may find themselves secluded increases their risk of being potentially robbed or susceptible to other violence. If one does find themselves in a dangerous situation, the best thing to do is comply, especially in cases of robbery. 

The State Department is also encouraging Americans who are traveling to Jamaica to enroll in the department’s free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, and to plan emergency contingency plans in case something were to happen. 

“We strongly encourage you to obtain traveler’s insurance, including medical evacuation insurance, before traveling to Jamaica,” the advisory added in bold font to emphasize the importance of these procedures. 

Insurance and medical evacuation insurance is especially important, as the Department warned that many health care providers overseas will not accept US health insurance, and neither Medicare nor Medicaid benefits apply overseas.