Tourists in Jamaica Warned Not to Leave Resorts in Montego Bay After Murder Spike

Aerial view of Montego Bay, Jamaica on May 24, 2017.

British and Canadian tourists in Jamaica have been warned not to venture from resorts in Montego Bay after a state of emergency was imposed in response to a spate of deadly shootings.

Soldiers have been deployed on the streets in St. James parish after a series of killings led to a military response.

Newsweek has reached out to the State Department—which at the time of publication had not updated its travel advisory to Americans visiting the Caribbean island. On Saturday, several U.S. federal government offices closed after Congress could not agree a new budget.

It is unclear how the State Department will be impacted by the closure.

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said Thursday that the extra security measures were necessary to “restore public safety” in the St. James area.

Chief of defense, Major General Rocky Meade, said Jamaican armed forces were targeting gangs, with “particular focus on those that are responsible for murders, lotto scamming, trafficking of arms and guns, and extortion.”

He added: “We ask that you co-operate with the troops.”

On Saturday, the U.K. Foreign Office warned British citizens to stay in their hotels.

“[Tourists] should follow local advice including restrictions in selected areas, and exercise particular care if traveling at night,” a Foreign Office spokesman said in a statement.

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SOURCE: Newsweek, Tom Porter