A curfew is in place in St James and parts of St Catherine, Jamaica, following a spike in murders and violent crimes that authorities have blamed on gangs and lottery scams. The popular tourist resort of Montego Bay is in St James.

If you are in the area, expect to see an increase security presence and to be stopped at checkpoints. Please allow time for delays in any journeys. Avoid travelling at night and monitor relevant embassy channels.

The Prime Minister of Jamaica said in a statement that ‘the level of criminal activity experience continued and threatened, is of such a nature and on so extensive a scale as likely to endanger public safety.’ The statement goes on to note that 335 murders occurred in St James last year – double the murder rate of any other parish.

Patrols have been increased in the area and people are subject to security checks at checkpoints. Security forces will also be searching individuals and vehicles using ‘all roads leading in and out of St James.’

The Independent warns that ‘unless the Foreign Office warns against travel, holiday firms are likely to maintain existing terms to customers with forward bookings for Jamaica.’ This means travellers looking to change their destination, cancel or delay their trip will likely face a financial cost.

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