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2019 Caribbean travel: What islands are safe?

If you’re planning a trip to the Caribbean or Central America, the U.S. State Department has published a list of travel advisories alerting tourists about what destinations they need to be wary of, and which ones are considered safe, or the least risky. 

There are four categories of travel advisories: “Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions”; “Level Two: Exercise Increased Caution”; “Level 3: Reconsider Travel” and “Level 4: Do Not Travel.”

Here’s the breakdown as of July 22, 2019:

Level 1: No travel alerts

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Barbados
  • Bonaire
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Curacao
  • French West Indies, which includes islands Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Saint Martin, and Saint Barthélemy.
  • Grenada
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent

Level 2: Exercise increased caution

  • The Bahamas: cited for jet-ski operators sexually assaulting tourists
  • Belize: cited for violent crime, including sexual assaults
  • Colombia: cited for crime, terrorism and kidnapping
  • Cuba: cited for “several reports per month of crimes against U.S. tourists and other foreign nationals,” and a small number of violent crimes involving U.S. citizens outside of tourist areas.
  • Dominican Republic: cited for armed robbery, homicide and sexual assault
  • Guatemala: cited for crime throughout the country, including robbery and murder
  • Jamaica: cited for armed robberies, homicides and sexual assaults
  • Mexico: cited for crime throughout the country
  • Trinidad and Tobago: cited for crime, terrorism and kidnapping
  • Turks and Caicos islands: cited for crime, primarily in Providenciales; local medical care and criminal investigative capabilities are limited.

Level 3: Reconsider travel

  • El Salvador
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Haiti

Level 4: Do not travel

  • Venezuela

The State Department warns that conditions can change rapidly in a country at any time. To receive updated Travel Advisories and Alerts, the State Department recommends creating an account at STEP.state.gov and providing the details of your specific trip, including dates of arrival and departure for the countries you choose.

If you are not traveling now, but are interested in monitoring safety conditions for specific destinations overseas, sign up to receive Travel Advisory updates at STEP.state.gov under Staying at Home? Or, visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/about-our-new-products/staying-connected.html.

Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press

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