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Canada issues travel advisory against Jamaica

The Canadian government is warning its citizens to exercise a high degree of caution when travelling in Jamaica due to the high level of  violent crime.
 
The update to its travel advisory was issued on Wednesday.
 
Global Affairs Canada issues such warnings when it believes there are identifiable safety and security concerns or the safety and security situation could change with little notice. 
 
It notes that due to a significant increase in violent crime since the beginning of the year, the Jamaican government has declared a state of emergency for western parishes until October 28 and in St. Andrew South until October 5.
 
Global Affairs Canada warns citizens that during this period, security forces have been given increased rights to conduct searches, seizures, and detain persons of interest.
 
Canadian tourists in Jamaica are also being warned to be wary of "friendly" strangers and refrain from excessive drinking, especially at all-inclusive resorts.
 
Global Affairs Canada notes that there have been reports of alleged sexual assaults at tourist resorts carried out by resort staff and, in some cases, by other tourists. 
 
It says women travelling alone are often harassed. 
 
The group adds although most hotels and resorts are well guarded, tourists should ensure their hotel room doors and windows are secure.
 
Tourists are being urged to be particularly vigilant if they are staying at a smaller or isolated establishment with less security. 
 
Jamaica's Ministry of Tourism recently revealed that an audit of local hotels and attractions has found some in breach of security arrangements.
 
The audit was carried out following reports in the international media regarding sexual harassment and assault of tourists.
 


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