A few days after the U.S. State Department re-issued a travel warning for Jamaica, it has done the same with another Caribbean island.
The State Department on Wednesday warned Americans against travel to Haiti with a re-issued Level 4: Do Not Travel warning to the country, which is the third largest country in the region. The warning specifically advises Americans against travel because of crime and “increased insecurity.”
“Do not travel to Haiti due to kidnapping, crime, civil unrest, and poor health care infrastructure. U.S. citizens in Haiti should consider departing Haiti now by commercial or other privately available transportation options, in light of the current security situation and infrastructure challenges,” the warning reads.
“U.S. citizens wishing to depart Port-au-Prince should monitor local news and only do so when considered safe.”
Gang violence has recently risen in the country, particularly in its capital Port-au-Prince, in what the Associated Press is calling “the country’s worst human rights crisis in decades.” The crisis, which at one point claimed the lives of 187 people in 11 days, has gotten bad enough for the United Nations chief late last month to urge immediate deployment of international armed forces to stem the gang violence.
The State Department’s warning says that the violence could impact travelers almost as soon as they land in Port-au-Prince.
“Violent crime, such as armed robbery, carjackings, and kidnappings for ransom that include American citizens are common. Mob killings against presumed criminals have been on the rise since late April. Travelers are sometimes followed and violently attacked and robbed shortly after leaving the Port-au-Prince international airport,” the warning reads.
The warning is not the first from a U.S. government entity against travel to Haiti in recent memory—the FBI recently issued its own notice advising against travel to Haiti.
A spokesperson for Royal Caribbean, which has its own private destination in Labadee, a peninsula far from the violence in Port-au-Prince, said that it was monitoring the situation in Haiti.
"Our Global Security teams continue to monitor the situation in the region and are working closely with authorities to ensure the safety and comfort of our guests and crew, which remains our highest priority," a spokesperson told Travel Market Report. "We are communicating directly with our guests and will advise them if any schedule changes become necessary.