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Jamaica travel advisory: US issues warning for travelers visiting Caribbean due to increased crime | What to know

The U.S. Department of State has issued a new warning for American travelers headed to the Caribbean due to violent crime that has impacted the local populations of Jamaica and the Bahamas.

US raises travel advisory for travel to Jamaica

The State Department reissued a Level 3 travel advisory for Jamaica last month, asking Americans to “reconsider travel to Jamaica due to crime and medical services.”

“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, reissued on Jan. 23, stated in a summary of what’s happening in the Caribbean country.

Seven Mile Beach, Negril, Jamaica is seen in an undated stock photo.

Seven Mile Beach, Negril, Jamaica is seen in an undated stock photo.

STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images

“Local police often do not respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. When arrests are made, cases are infrequently prosecuted to a conclusive sentence,” the alert warned. “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.”

The State Department further reminded that homicide rate as reported by the Jamaican government “has for several years been among the highest in the Western Hemisphere.”

As of time of publication, the State Department has “prohibited” U.S. government personnel under Chief of Mission (COM) security responsibility “from traveling to the areas” listed in the advisory, as well as “using public buses, and from driving outside of prescribed areas of Kingston at night.”

Additionally, the agency said emergency services and hospital care in Jamaica may not meet U.S. standards, because response times and quality of care can vary throughout the island.

“Public hospitals are under-resourced and cannot always provide high level or specialized care. Private hospitals require payment up front before admitting patients and may not have the ability to

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