The Canadian government is warning tourists in the popular Jamaican destination of Montego Bay to remain in their resorts due to an increase in violent crime.
Travel Canada issued the warning after the Jamaican government declared a state of emergency and deployed military forces to the island’s St. James Parish after a spike in thefts and murders.
The Canadian advisory says there have been reports of alleged sexual assaults at tourist resorts that were carried out by resort staff and, in some cases, by other tourists.
It warns sun seekers to avoid travelling to the area, citing “an extreme risk to your personal safety and security,” and to remain within the resort compounds if you’re already there.
The advisory says, “If you are staying at a resort in the affected area, restrict your movements beyond resort security perimeters. If you do travel outside these perimeters, use transportation arranged or provided by the resort.”
“If you are in the affected area, be extremely vigilant, follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor local news.”
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness had said escalating criminal activity was endangering public safety, necessitating a state of public emergency and the deployment of military forces. A married couple from Winnipeg was found dead this month while visiting Jamaica.
There are more than 60 countries where the Canadian government warns travellers to “exercise a high degree of caution,” including other Caribbean nations such as the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Trinidad and Tobago, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.