News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. Jan. 26, 2024: The U.S. is warning nationals to reconsider travel to popular tourist destination, Jamaica.
Due to concerns regarding insufficient medical services and high crime rates, the United States has updated its travel advisory for Jamaica to level 3, urging its citizens to reconsider travel plans. This advisory supplements the standard warning about crime.
According to the recent advisory issued by the Department of State, American citizens are advised to reconsider traveling to Jamaica due to concerns related to both crime and medical services.
The advisory highlights that local law enforcement often responds inadequately to serious criminal incidents, and cases rarely result in conclusive sentences when arrests are made.
Furthermore, it mentions that families of U.S. citizens involved in accidents in Jamaica often face significant delays of a year or more in receiving final death certificates from Jamaican authorities.
Jamaica’s homicide rate has consistently been one of the highest in the Western Hemisphere, as reported by the Jamaican government. U.S. government personnel, who fall under the chief of mission security responsibility, are restricted from traveling to certain areas, using public buses, and driving outside prescribed areas of Kingston at night.
Regarding emergency services and healthcare, the advisory points out that the quality of care and response times may not meet U.S. standards and can vary across the island. Public hospitals are often under-resourced and may lack the capacity to provide specialized care. Private hospitals typically require upfront payment and may not offer specialized care. Ambulance services may not be readily available, especially in rural areas, and may not always be staffed by trained personnel.
The advisory strongly recommends obtaining traveler’s insurance, including medical evacuation coverage, before traveling to Jamaica. It emphasizes that the Department of State does not cover medical expenses.