Canada issues travel advisories to these Caribbean destinations

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Published April 8, 2024 at 3:39 pm

travel advisories caribbean canada

Summer might be just around the corner, but with a lot of April showers set to hit Ontario before temperatures climb into the 20s, many residents are still planning Caribbean vacations. While travel is always a good idea, people may want to check out the latest travel advisories before planning a trip to a beachy paradise. 

Fortunately for travellers, the federal government maintains a Travel Advice and Advisories page to help residents make informed decisions and travel safely outside Canada.

They analyze trends and incidents affecting international travellers, monitor world events and collect updated reports from different sources.

The Travel Advice and Advisories page is regularly updated.

Here are some of the Caribbean countries with new or updated advisories:


The Bahamas

Risks: Crime

Reasons: The federal government says crime rates are high in the country, especially in Freeport and Nassau. While crime has decreased in recent years, violent crime still occurs, mainly on the islands of Grand Bahama and New Providence. 

According to the advisory, armed robberies, burglaries, purse snatchings, theft, fraud, and sexual assaults are the most common crimes committed against travellers in Freeport and Nassau. Travellers are advised to avoid deserted beaches and refrain from wearing expensive jewellery or carrying large sums of cash. Tourists should also be wary of fraud, scams, and unsafe water activities. 

Tourists should avoid walking alone after dark. 


Belize

Risks: Crime

Reasons: The government says tourists should “exercise a high degree of caution” due to violent crime throughout the country. The advisory notes that last month, the Belize government declared a state of emergency due to high levels of crime in Southside Belize City, Cayo District, Hattieville Area, Roaring Creek Village and the Young Bank Area in the Camalote Village. Curfews and other restrictions are possible in these areas. 

The advisory also says that gang violence is a significant concern in Belize and that police capacity to respond to violent incidents is limited. While tourists are not generally targeted, caution is recommended. 

Violent crimes such as murders, armed robberies, home invasions, muggings and sexual assaults are commonly reported in the country. 

Tourists could also become victims of fraud or petty crime, according to the advisory. 


Cuba

Risks: Necessity shortages

Reasons: While normal security precautions can be taken in the resort areas of Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo del Sur, Cayo Santa Maria, Guardalavaca and Varadero, a higher degree of caution should be taken in other parts of the country due to frequent shortages of necessities such as food, medicine and fuel. Cell phone service could be disrupted, and power outages could also occur. 

Tourists should also beware of petty crime (pickpocketing, purse snatching and thefts from cars and hotel rooms). Violent crime is not common, but assaults have been reported, particularly during robberies. Tourists should also be vigilant about possible fraud and scams. 


Dominican Republic

Risk: Crime

Reasons: The government says crime, including violent crime, occurs throughout the country, especially in major cities. According to the advisory, most incidents are opportunistic in nature, which means tourists should exercise increased caution. 

Tourists should also be aware that petty crimes, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, can also occur. Petty crime, including pickpocketing and bag-snatching, occurs throughout the country and tourists are common targets for theft. 

The government says crime tends to rise during holiday periods and incidents may occur at resorts, on beaches, at airports, at bus stations and onboard public transit. Thefts from hotel rooms have also been reported. Other crimes, such as drive-by robberies committed by people on motorcycles, scooters or bicycles, can occur. 

Scams can also occur and people might impersonate police officers and issue tickets for bogus offences. Tourists asked to pay fines should ask the officer for identification, as well as a copy of the ticket. 


Guyana

Risks: Crime

Reasons: The government says visitors should exercise a high level of caution due to crime, including petty crimes such as pickpocketing and purse snatching. Tourists are advised not to show signs of affluence. 

The advisory also says violent crime is prevalent across Guyana and is often associated with illegal drug trafficking. Homicides, assaults, break-ins, armed robberies, theft from cars and carjackings are common and foreigners have been robbed at gunpoint and attacked after withdrawing money at banks, in shopping districts and in hotels.

Travellers should avoid walking alone at night or visiting empty or underpopulated areas. 

Guyana is currently in conflict with neighbouring Venezuela, so tourists are advised to exercise extreme caution near the border. 


Jamaica

Risk: Crime

Reason: The advisory says violent crime, including armed robbery and murder, can occur in large cities and tourist areas, including parts of Kingston and Montego Bay. Firearm use is common and tourists could be struck in the crossfire if a shooting breaks out. Areas with significant gang activity include Greater Kingston, Cassava Piece, Four Miles, Glendale, Hunts Bay, Hannah Town, Tower Hill, South Coast and others. 

Petty crime is also a concern. 

Gang-related crime can prompt authorities to declare a state of emergency at any time. Tourists visiting an area during a state of emergency should cooperate with law enforcement and carry identification at all times. 

LGBTQ travellers could be at increased risk of harassment and physical abuse. Same-sex couples are advised to avoid public displays of affection. 


Trinidad and Tobago

Risk: Crime on the Island of Trinidad (tourists can exercise normal precautions on the Island of Tobago).

Reason: The advisory says violent crime, including armed robberies, assaults and sexual assault, occurs frequently on the island of Trinidad, especially in the capital, Port of Spain. Tourists have been targeted. The advisory also says people have been kidnapped for ransom more frequently since 2018. 

Gang-related violence can occur and tourists could be “in the wrong place at the wrong time,” according to the advisory. Petty crime is also a risk, as are scams.

Tourists are advised to avoid isolated beaches and areas after dark and to avoid showing outward signs of affluence. 

There is also a risk of terrorism. 


Haiti

Risks: Gang violence and civil unrest

Reasons: The Canadian government advises residents to avoid all travel to Haiti for any reason. 

“Avoid all travel to Haiti due to the threat posed by kidnappings, gang violence and the potential for civil unrest throughout the country,” the advisory reads.

“The security situation remains volatile in Haiti. You should consider leaving the country by commercial means if you can do so safely.” 

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