Travelers to Jamaica might notice that the U.S. Department of State has issued a travel advisory for the country. In June 2022, a Level 3 travel advisory had been issued for Jamaica due to high crime in certain areas.
On October 5, 2022, the U.S. Department of State reissued the Level 3 advisory. This indicates that Americans should reconsider traveling to the country.
Suggested: Check out the current Mexico Travel Advisory
Safety Updates and News from Jamaica:
April 3 – Jamaican Minister of Tourism to Participate in African Tourism Investment Summit on April 3
Minister Bartlett has been asked to speak at the eagerly awaited summit in his capacity as a well-known global authority on the tourism industry, resilience, and growth. The occasion will provide an opportunity for the Minister of Tourism to discuss the expansion of the Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Center (GTRCMC) satellite network in Africa, strengthen collaboration between Jamaica and South Africa in the travel and hospitality industries, and exchange ideas with tourism ministers from several African countries who will be present at the Summit.
“From a tourism perspective, Africa is the new frontier and Jamaica and, in fact, the wider Caribbean, are particularly interested in tapping into this new market. Another important area of cooperation is tourism resilience. We already have a GTRCMC satellite center in Kenya and we look forward to expanding this important Africa Network,” Minister Bartlett said.
March 3 – Jamaica’s Tourism Industry Starts Year Off Strong
According to Edmund Bartlett, the island’s tourism minister, Jamaica’s tourism industry is expected to generate $4.2 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31 – an increase of $500 million over last year.
The number of tourist arrivals reached a record high in January, up 15% compared to the same month in 2019.
“The industry has really returned with a bang,” Bartlett said in a phone interview Monday. Tourism the is fastest rebounding sector post-pandemic, “but it still hasn’t fully recovered.”
February 14 – Jamaica extends state of emergency through May
The St. James Parish’s state of emergency will now last until May 2 according to a resolution by the Jamaican House of Representatives. The famed Jamaican tourist destination Montego Bay is included in the emergency order, which was first issued on January 18.
“It was not anticipated that all that is required would be accomplished in 14 days,” said Jamaica’s Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, in a statement on the Jamaican government’s website. “It is reasonable to expect that even with extraordinary powers, it will take some time to affect the situation in St. James.”
According to Holness, the nation is still working to increase public and security force trust.
“While we acknowledge that there will be some disruption and fallout, we must take back control of our country and we must dismantle the network of organized crime,” Holness noted that widespread criminal activity, such as murder, lottery fraud, trafficking, and other illegal trades, is proof of a sophisticated and interconnected criminal ecosphere.
Do not travel to these areas:
Violence and shootings occur regularly in the following areas:
Areas of Clarendon Parish – Level 4: Do Not Travel
- All of Clarendon Parish, except passing through Clarendon Parish using the T1 and A2 highways.
Areas of Hanover Parish – Level 4: Do Not Travel
Areas of Kingston and St. Andrew Parish – Level 4: Do Not Travel
- Cassava Piece
- Downtown Kingston, defined as between Mountain View Avenue and Hagley Park Road, and south of Half Way Tree and Old Hope Roads. Downtown Kingston includes Arnett Gardens, Cockburn Gardens, Denham Town, Olympic Gardens, Seaview Gardens, Trench Town, and Tivoli Gardens.
- Duhaney Park
- Grants Pen
- Elleston Flats
- August Town
Areas of Montego Bay – Level 4: Do Not Travel
- Mount Salem
- Paradise Heights
- Rose Heights
Areas of St. Ann Parish – Level 4: Do Not Travel
Areas of St. Catherine Parish – Level 4: Do Not Travel
- Spanish Town
- Central Village
- Certain areas within Portmore to include: Naggo Head, New Land, Old Braeton, and Waterford
Areas of St. James Parish – Level 4: Do Not Travel
- Violence and shootings occur regularly in some areas of St. James Parish. Do not travel to the following areas:
- Johns Hall
Areas of Westmoreland Parish – Level 4: Do Not Travel
- Russia community in Savanna-la-Mar (The Southeastern quadrant of Savannah la Mar east of Darling Street and south of the A2 highway/Barracks Road)
- The Whitehall neighborhood of east Negril
Visit this website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
Some concerns involve the country’s high rates of violent crime and homicide.
Although people who intend to travel to Jamaica should be aware of travel advisories, they can look up the specific details about the warning on the U.S. Department of State website. The advisory identifies specific high-risk areas in the parishes of Clarendon, Hanover, Kingston, St. Andrew, Montego Bay, St. Ann, St. Catherine, St. James and Westmoreland.
Travelers who decide to visit Jamaica should avoid those areas completely. But that doesn’t mean that all of Jamaica isn’t safe.
Canada and Australia advise their citizens to exercise high caution when visiting Jamaica instead of suggesting that they should reconsider travel. Also, Montego Bay was rated one of the most popular destinations for American vacationers in the summer of 2022.
Suggested: Best beaches in Jamaica to Visit in 2022
The risk of crime at all-inclusive resorts and their surrounding areas is quite low. Travelers should exercise caution in any tourist-heavy region, using reputable travel companies, keeping valuables in their hotel safe and avoiding walking alone, especially at night.
The four-tier travel advisory system was launched in January 2018 to better help American travelers identify high-risk travel areas and understand the precautions that they should take. The U.S. issued or updated more than 100 travel advisories for major tourist destinations, including Japan, France and Italy, in October.
Safety Update Archives:
January 25 – Due to gang violence, Jamaica renews its regional states of emergency
To combat a persistent threat of crime associated with gang activities in the Caribbean country, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness renewed states of emergency in eight parishes.
Regional states of emergency, which permit authorities to search buildings and detain people without a warrant, were declared by Holness on November 15.
“While we have had reasonable success in controlling the number of murders leading up to and during the Christmas season, the threat levels for ongoing gang conflicts … (remain) elevated and extensive in scale,” Holness said in a press conference.
January 9 – A British national was murdered in Jamaica as of January 3
As of Jan. 3, a police inquiry into the death of a British national in the St. James Parish community of Bogue Hill is still going on. According to reports, the man was shot the day before at about 11:45 in a villa; he eventually succumbed to his injuries. The suspect has been detained by police. The attack’s motivation is yet unknown.
Jamaica has a high murder rate —40 per 100,000 people— and many violent crimes are linked to gang activity. The Jamaican government declared a state of emergency on December 29 for numerous parts of the nation, including St. James parish, in reaction to a recent spike in violence. Security forces are now permitted to make arrests and conduct searches without a judicial order.
The state of emergency has been extended by the Jamaican government to January 11, 2023. The US has also issued a Level 3 Alert regarding violence in Jamaica since October 2022.
December 19 – Jamaica imposes a widespread state of emergency to fight violent crime
Andrew Holness, the prime minister of the island nation of Jamaica, announced in a public address on December 7 that a nationwide state of emergency had been issued across the country to combat violent crime.
“All Jamaicans should be able to enjoy the Christmas season free from the threat of violence. We have some really serious criminal threats facing us and we have to use all the powers at our disposal,” Holness said.
Nine of Jamaica’s 14 parishes, including Clarendon, Saint Catherine, Westmoreland, Hanover, and portions of Kingston, Saint Andrew, Saint Ann, and Saint James, which includes the well-known tourist attraction Montego Bay, would be under the State of Emergency (SOE).
December 2 – Funeral service ends with kid and young man murdered
According to Jamaican police, a five-year-old child was shot to death while his family was attending a funeral service in St. James. This brought the number of murders on the island this year to 1363.
Tavoy Cummings and a 24-year-old man known only as ‘Isis’, according to police, was killed in the incident, and the child’s father remains in critical condition in hospital. The boy’s mother, who was also in the car, was uninjured.
According to authorities, the family was on their way to Tomani Walters’ funeral when their vehicle was fired upon by unidentified assailants.
November 17 – Jamaica Announces a state of emergency due to rising crime, notably at Montego Bay, a popular tourist destination
The Prime Minister of Jamaica has declared a state of emergency due to rising crime rates in numerous locations, including the well-known tourist destination of Montego Bay.
In an effort to combat escalating gang-related crime, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in several central and western parishes, as well as areas of the capital Kingston.
When a state of emergency is declared, authorities are given more powers, including the right to search buildings and make arrests without warrants. The regulations, which took effect Tuesday, apply to places that include well-known tourist strongholds such as Montego Bay.