The U.S. government has elevated its travel alert level for Jamaica in response to a series of murders in the Caribbean nation. Americans are encouraged to reconsider visiting the island "due to crime and [unreliable] medical services."

The State Department announced the adjustment to its Level 3 travel advisory for Jamaica shortly after issuing a warning regarding the Bahamas. While the Bahamas remained at a Level 2 advisory, advising Americans to "exercise increased caution," despite recent incidents of murder.

The cautions regarding travel to these well-known tourist spots coincide with the period when many Americans are making plans and reservations for their upcoming vacations.

The U.S. Embassy in Jamaica cautioned that "violent crimes, such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides, are prevalent. Sexual assaults are frequent, even at all-inclusive resorts."

It further stated that Jamaican police "frequently do not respond adequately to serious criminal incidents."

The advisory noted that hospitals and ambulances may not always be dependable, and certain private institutions may demand upfront payment.

"The State Department pointed out that the homicide rate reported by the Government of Jamaica has consistently ranked among the highest in the Western Hemisphere for several years."

The U.S. Embassy in Nassau, Bahamas, conveyed in a statement released on January 24 that there had been 18 murders in the capital city since the beginning of the year, with incidents happening "at all times, including during daylight hours on public streets."

The statement indicated that the majority of recent killings were connected to gang-related activities. It advised travelers to "exercise extreme caution, especially in the eastern region of New Providence Island (Nassau)," and to exercise heightened vigilance when walking or driving at night.

Tourism plays a significant role in Jamaica's economy, with Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett expressing his anticipation to the country's lawmakers in December for the continuation of the "spectacular growth pattern" experienced in 2022 and 2023.