Tourism is a leading industry in Jamaica today. We are proud of our tradition of hospitality and regard every single visitor to Jamaica as our special guest – here with us to share the many pleasures of our island.
We want your visit to be special. We want you to leave us with fond memories, eager to come back again soon. Because Jamaica cares about you we wish to share some safety measures and tips for travellers.
DESTINATION SAFETY & SECURITY:
Jamaica is a safe place for tourism and the statistics reflect same with the crime rate in respect to crimes against visitors being only 0.01% annually. As with any place in the world, you should always remember to follow basic safety precautions to avoid possible predicaments. Local authorities and the general tourism community have implemented many procedures and enhanced security measures in order to maintain a safe, secure environment for residents and visitors.
General Safety Tips include but are not limited to the following:
Keep your luggage in view at all times and your personal effects close to your body
Don’t carry large amounts of cash
Do not leave valuables in your car; utilize the in-room safety deposit box or hotel safe
Avoid wearing expensive jewelry outside of your resort
Do not let strangers into your room
Lock room doors when leaving
Review the safety information and location of exits close to your room in case of fire or emergencies.
Only take licensed taxis, in Jamaica they have red plates with white letters and digits.
Deal only with authorized agents when you exchange money e.g. banks, cambios and/or hotels. Prior to your arrival to Jamaica, read up on local laws and practices. Give family and friends your contact information and itineraries in case of an emergency. Register with your country’s embassy or consulate before you travel, that way your country is aware of your whereabouts in case of emergency.
For additional tips visit: http://www.visitjamaica.com/your-travel-guide/travel-tips
Hurricanes are a fact of life for the Caribbean with Hurricane Season spanning the period June 1 – November 30. These tropical cyclones with internal wind speeds in excess of 74 mph (119 km/h), bring storm surges, destructive winds, excessive rainfall and floods that can cause physical damage, impact crops and food supplies, threaten public health, and disrupt transportation and communication systems.
Jamaica has not had a direct hit from a Hurricane since 1988 with Hurricane Gilbert. Since then, the island has had some impact from storms in the region with some damage and minimal disruptions to business from intense weather events.
Given the likelihood that a hurricane may or may not occur, the country has a high level of advance preparedness and post hurricane measures in place with most hotels, villas and other entities in the tourism industry so as to ensure minimal damage and disruption to services, as well as to enable the resumption of the country’s operations quickly and safely. In the event of a hurricane we encourage visitors to remain in contact with their hotel, tour operator and travel advisor in order to ascertain the necessary steps to take or be undertaken based on the Phases of the Hurricane Warning System. The system used for Jamaica involves the five phases below:
Phase 1 – Hurricane Alert; a hurricane has entered the region
Phase 2 – Hurricane Watch; a hurricane watch has been issued for the island and it is expected that landfall will be in 36 hours
Phase 3 – Hurricane Warning; a hurricane warning has been issued for the island with the storm expected to make landfall in 24 hours
Phase 4 – Emergency Phase; the hurricane has made landfall and is currently affecting the island
Phase 5 – Recovery Phase; recovery and cleanup efforts after landfall
For further information and details visit: http://jis.gov.jm/tips/hurricane-tips/
Although hurricanes are the most likely natural hazard to pose a threat to tourism establishments in Jamaica, there is a possibility of an emergency due to the natural hazard of Earthquakes. Jamaica has not experienced a major earthquake since 1907 in Kingston. During an earthquake there are a number of actions that can be taken, even while an earthquake is happening that will reduce the chances of personal injury. We encourage you to make yourself familiar with such actions in case of an earthquake, by taking note of Emergency Procedures put in place by the various tourism establishments.
For further information and details visit: http://jis.gov.jm/tips/earthquake-tips/
Tsunamis, which are also known as seismic sea waves and sometimes mistakenly called “tidal waves”, are a series of enormous waves created by an underwater disturbance such as an earthquake, landslide, volcanic eruption, or meteorite. A tsunami can move hundreds of miles per hour in the open ocean and smash into land with waves as high as 100 feet or more.
Tsunamis are a rare occurrence in Jamaica.
If a tsunami is likely in your area, the following actions can help to minimize the chance of injury:
Listen to your radio and/or your tourism establishment to learn if there is a tsunami warning or if an earthquake occurs and you are in a coastal area.
Follow evacuation directions to move inland to higher ground immediately and stay there.
Stay away from the beach. Never go down to the beach to watch a tsunami come in. If you can see the wave you are too close to escape it. CAUTION: Noticeable recession in water away from the shoreline is nature's tsunami warning and should be heeded. In such cases, move immediately away from the shoreline
Following these guidelines immediately after a tsunami can help minimize the chance of personal injury or damage from the event:
Stay away from flooded and damaged areas until officials say it is safe to return.
Stay away from debris in the water; it may pose a safety hazard to boats and people.
Save yourself - not your possessions.
For more information on tsunamis visit: http://odpem.org.jm/Kids/SeniorHome/DisasterResearchCenter/Tsunamis/tabid/440/Default.aspx
MOSQUITO SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS:
Jamaica takes a proactive approach as it relates to mosquitos and the reduction of the spread of mosquito borne diseases. The Ministry of Health has strengthened its vector control programme with frequent fogging in urban areas and communities as well as public service announcements and increased communication with communities in terms of preventing and controlling the breeding of mosquitoes. Most large hotels also conduct their own regular fogging and vector control programs.
Although cases are less common now, and the illnesses are not life threatening, the Dengue, Chik-V, and Zika viruses are carried by mosquitoes native to the region. Symptoms include headache, fever, rash and joint pain. Pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems should take extra precaution to avoid being bitten as the symptoms can become more complicated.
There is no risk of yellow fever in Jamaica. The Government of Jamaica requires proof of yellow fever vaccination only if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. This does not include the US. Details regarding entry requirements for persons travelling to Jamaica from countries at with risk of yellow fever can be found at: http://jis.gov.jm/jamaica-yellow-fever-entry-requirements/
Jamaica has been malaria free since 1962 and the country has been able to prevent the re-introduction by public health surveillance, identifying imported cases and putting in place the necessary control measures to prevent the local spread of the disease.
Mosquitoes tend to be more prevalent at dawn and dusk. To prevent mosquito bites, wear light coloured clothing, long pants and long sleeved clothes where possible. Use a mosquito repellant that contains DEET, sleep under a mosquito net and cover the body as much as possible to minimize exposure.