Feds on Travel to Jamaica: Reconsider That

State Department raises alert level due to high crime rates
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2024 4:57 AM CST
US Raises Travel Alert Level for Jamaica
Montego Bay is on the "do not travel" list for US personnel in Jamaica.   (Getty Images/lucky-photographer)

Americans considering getaways to Jamaica should reconsider their plans because of crime rates so high that US government personnel are banned from visiting many areas, the State Department warns in a travel advisory. The department has raised the alert level for the Caribbean island country to a Level 3 "Reconsider travel" alert, one below the Level 4 "Do not travel" alert, CBS News reports. "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 states. "Local police often do not respond effectively to serious criminal incidents."

The homicide rate in Jamaica "has for several years been among the highest in the Western Hemisphere," the advisory states. The State Department listed problems with medical care as another reason to reconsider travel to Jamaica, warning that "high level or specialized" medical care may be unavailable and private hospitals generally require payment up front, USA Today reports.

According to government statistics, there were 65 homicides in Jamaica, which has a population of 2.8 million, between Jan. 1 and Jan. 27 this year, down from 81 in the same period last year, though the number of shootings and injuries was up, per CBS. The State Department has also issued a travel advisory for the Bahamas after a surge in murders, though the alert level for the country remains at Level 2, "Exercise increased caution." (More Jamaica stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.