Canadian tourists in Montego Bay warned to stay ‘within the resort compounds’

OTTAWA – Canadians vacationing in Montego Bay in Jamaica are warned to stay “within the  resort compounds.”

Travel Canada issued the warning after the Jamaican government declared a state of emergency last week 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 tourists 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.

“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,” the advisory says.

Jamaica is currently more than 60 countries where the Canadian government warns travellers to “exercise a high degree of caution.” Other Caribbean countries for which the warning has been  issued include the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Trinidad and Tobago, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The “exercise a high degree of caution” advice falls below the government’s next risk level, which calls for avoiding all non-essential travel.