The US State Department has raised the alert level for Americans planning to travel to the Bahamas. The warning, released on February 26, urges American citizens to exercise “greater caution” amid rising crime in the country.
The statement highlighted intergang violence, which results in a high murder rate, particularly affecting the local population. The islands of New Providence, including towns such as Nassau and Freeport on Grand Bahama, have been identified as the hardest hit.
“Violent crimes such as robberies, armed robberies and sexual assaults occur in both tourist and nontourist areas. Be careful when staying in shortterm vacation rental properties that do not have private security companies.“, says the statement.
On a scale of four alert levels, the Bahamas has reached category two, indicating that visitors to the country need to “exercise increased caution.”
Preparing for a safe trip
The statement also advises travelers not to resist any attempted robbery and warns against opening doors to strangers. Bahamas Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis told local media he did not believe the warning would have an impact on tourism in the country.
In addition to the Bahamas, travel warnings for other Caribbean destinations were also recently updated. Jamaica, for example, has been placed at level three on the alert scale, indicating that American citizens are reconsidering their travel to the country.
The Jamaica advisory details specific crime risk areas in 12 of the country's 14 counties and highlights challenges travelers may face in accessing healthcare.