If you were thinking of booking a fall vacation to Jamaica in the coming weeks, you might want to exercise caution for a short while. The Canadian government has just issued an updated travel advisory for the country, after an additional State of Emergency was officially declared by the Jamaican government. Canadians are now being advised to take extra precautions if they decide to travel.
Earlier this year, the Jamaican government officially issued a state of emergency for the parish of St. James, which included popular vacation resort town Montego Bay. This has now been updated to include an additional five parishes, some of which are known to be Canadian tourist hot-spots.
In order to combat these crimes, the Government of Canada states that security forces in the country will have the right to “conduct searches, seizures, and detain persons of interest.” The travel report also states that curfews could be imposed without notice.
While the travel advisory explains that violence against tourists is uncommon, Canadians should still take reasonable precautions when vacationing in Jamaica.
The travel report recommends that tourists in the listed areas “maintain a high level of personal security awareness at all times, do not walk alone even during the day, and avoid visiting beaches and isolated areas at night.”
The updated travel advisory includes several parishes in Jamaica, including Clarendon parish and St. Catherine parish. Additionally, St. James parish (which includes Montego Bay) remains under caution, alongside Hanover parish and Westmoreland parish, which includes Negril.
Finally, St. Andrew parish, which includes areas of Kingston, is also listed in the travel advisory and is expected to remain in place until at least January 2020.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of Canadian tourists head to Jamaica for their fall/winter vacations. The current advisory level from the Canadian government is "exercise a high degree of caution," which is the highest degree of warning before "avoid travel."