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The US government has issued a new warning for travel to Jamaica, officially making its travel advisory rating a level two “exercise increased caution” out of a potential four levels.

The State Department attributes this rating to the frequent incidents of violent crime throughout the island nation, such as home invasions, armed robberies, homicide and sexual assault, which occurs frequently, even at all-inclusive resorts. The advisory also states that the Jamaican police force doesn’t have the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents, contributing to a more dangerous situation.

Cities highlighted in the advisory include Kingston, Montego Bay and Spanish Town. For Kingston, US officials strongly suggest avoiding Cassava Piece, Downtown Kingston — specifically between Mountain View Avenue and Hagley Park Road as well as south of Half Way Tree and Old Hope Roads —Trench Town, Tivoli Gardens, Arnett Gardens, Grants Pen and Standpipe. For Montego Bay, the advisory lists Canterbury, Clavers Street, Flankers, Hart Street, Norwood and Rose Heights.

Aside from avoiding certain areas, the State Department suggests travelers exercise certain cautious behavior as well. When in Jamaica, travelers should avoid walking or driving at night, avoid taking public buses and being in secluded areas (including in resorts).

We also always suggest following the State Department on social media and enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security alerts and help share your location in case of an emergency. US citizens should also review the State Department’s Traveler’s Checklist prior to their trip.

Featured image by Alex Kuznetsov / 500px via Getty Images.

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