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Travel advisory: Government of Canada warns of ‘state of emergency’ in Jamaica

Photo: montego bay / Shutterstock

By Elana Shepert From Vancouver Is Awesome

The Government of Canada has updated the emergency status for Jamaica on a travel advisory due to a continued high level of violent crime.

The Jamaican government has declared a state of emergency effective until October 19, 2019 for Clarendon parish and St Catherine parish. Further, a state of emergency is effective until Oct. 28, 2019, for the following areas: St James parish, which includes Montego Bay; Hanover parish; and Westmoreland parish, which includes Negril.

In addition, a state of emergency has been declared for St Andrew parish, which includes areas of Kingston, which is in effect until Jan. 4, 2020.

A ‘high degree of caution’ is issued when there, “are identifiable safety and security concerns or the safety and security situation could change with little notice.” As such, tourists must exercise a high degree of caution at all times, as well as monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

The advisory states that, “violent crime, including armed robbery and murder, is a problem in large cities despite the presence of police to counter criminal activity. The availability of firearms is widespread, and most violent drug and gang-related crimes, especially murder, involve firearms. There is a risk of becoming the victim of crossfire in these areas.”

If you are staying at a resort in an affected area, you are advised to restrict your movements beyond resort security perimeters.

If you want to travel outside these perimeters, then you are advised to use transportation arranged or provided by the resort. Likewise, you should use organized tour operators for excursions and travel to and from the airport.

What’s more, police may impose curfews with short notice in areas where gang activity is a concern. The following areas have a significant gang population and high incidences of violent crime:

Greater Kingston
  • Arnett Gardens
  • August Town
  • Cassava Piece
  • Central Village in Spanish Town
  • Denham Town
  • Grant’s Pen
  • Hannah Town
  • Harbour View
  • Mountain View
  • Olympic Gardens
  • Payneland
  • Portmore
  • Tivoli Gardens
  • Trench Town
  • West Kingston
  • Whitfield Town
Montego Bay
  • Canterbury
  • Flankers
  • Hart Street
  • Mount Salem
  • Norwood Gardens
  • Rose Heights
  • St. Clavers Avenue

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