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UK issues travel warning for Jamaica Montego Bay

Jamaica Montego BayThe UK’s Foreign Office has issued a warning advising Brits holidaying in the Montego Bay area of Jamaica not to leave their hotels or resorts. The warning applies to the whole of the northwest parish of St James. The landmark bay and tourist city is a part of the parish.

The warning issued at the weekend follows the declaration of a state of emergency in St James late last week. The Jamaican government took the extreme measure due to an increasing number of gun-related incidents and violence which seems to be spiralling out of control.

A spokesperson for the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said holidaymakers in Jamaica should obey instructions from security personnel and local authorities. The representative carried on by saying the best way of staying safe was to stay on hotel premises and avoid venturing out altogether at night.

The FCO has not specifically declared St James or Jamaica no-go areas. This means UK holiday operators do not have to offer alternate packages. The UK advisory and state of emergency only currently apply to St James and not other popular Jamaica holiday destinations such as Ocho Rios and Port Antonio.

Jamaican PM Andrew Holness told reporters the military action in St James was the only way to restore safety. He explained that soldiers would be aiming at taking gangs, gun runners and scammers off the streets. The security forces have been given the right to carry out random searches and arrest any suspects.

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