Like this article?


British and Canadian tourists were warned to stay inside their Montego Bay resorts in Jamaica after an outbreak of violence led officials there to deploy soldiers and declare a state of emergency.

The British government on Thursday advised its citizens visiting the tropical island that they should “limit movements” outside of resorts and exercise caution if traveling at night.

Police have said they will take a zero tolerance approach to crime in the parish of St. James, where Montego Bay is located, and nearby communities that have seen an increase in killings that officials blame on gangs and lottery scams, Fox News reports.

“Travel to and from the airport or for excursions should be undertaken with organized tour operators, and transport should be arranged or provided by the resort hotels,” the U.K. Foreign Office advisory states.

One tourist staying in Montego Bay with his wife told Sky News about the increased police and military presence.

He said: “We have seen an increased military presence going in and out of the resort, vehicle checkpoints and inside the resort we have seen police boats which have come up to the resort,” said Daniel Blakey.

There were 335 murders recorded in 2017 in St. James, which includes the tourist destination of Montego Bay, reports the Jamaican Observer.

The latest State Department travel advisory issued Jan. 10 warns Americans to exercise “extreme caution” when traveling to Jamaica. It warns Americans not to travel to areas including some areas of Kingston and Montego Bay.

Travel Advisory
January 10, 2018
Jamaica – Level 2: Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution in Jamaica due to crime. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to:

  • Some areas of Kingston due to crime.
  • Some areas of Montego Bay due to crime.
  • Spanish Town due to crime. 

Violent crime, such as home invasions, armed robberies, and homicide, is common.  Sexual assaults occur frequently, even at all-inclusive resorts.  Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from driving outside of Kingston at night.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Jamaica:

  • Avoid walking or driving at night.
  • Avoid public buses.
  • Avoid secluded places or situations, even in resorts.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and keep a low profile.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Jamaica.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations.  Review the Traveler’s Checklist.


Violence and shootings occur regularly in some areas of Kingston. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling to the following areas: downtown Kingston, which is defined as the areas between Mountain View Avenue and Hagley Park Road, and south of Half Way Tree and Old Hope Roads, and includes Trench Town, Tivoli Gardens, and Arnett Gardens; Standpipe, Grants Pen, and Cassava Piece.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Montego Bay

Violence and shootings occur regularly in some areas of Montego Bay. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling to the following areas: Flankers, Canterbury, Norwood, Rose Heights, Clavers Street, and Hart Street.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Spanish Town

Violence and shootings occur regularly. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling to Spanish Town.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas




FOLLOW us on Facebook at Nation In Distress!

Please like and share on Facebook and Twitter!

Like this article?

Facebook Comments