What makes Jamaica a popular vacation destination

Is Jamaica a Safe Travel Destination?

Jamaica is one of the top travel destinations for a successful one Caribbean vacation. Sun, beach, tropical natural scenery and an exotic culture that is known for its delicious food as well as its unique music and joie de vivre. However, there are also reports of an increase in violent crimes. Those who know Jamaica are particularly likely to remember the violent assassinations of Bob Marley and his artist colleague Peter Tosh in the second half of the 20th century. But what about today in Jamaica? Is Jamaica dangerous or is it safe to fly to Jamaica? Here is some useful information about this.

Safety in Jamaica - is Jamaica a Safe Travel Destination Right Now?

Jamaica is a former British colonywhose population goes back largely to African slaves. A dark chapter of the approximately 10,991 km² large Caribbean island, which was accompanied by bloody unrest and inhumane treatment of the black population. It is all the more gratifying that the parliamentary-representative democratic monarchy of the island was ranked 40th out of 167 countries on the international democracy index in 2016. Monarchy here means that the British Queen Elizabeth II is still head of state of Jamaica. Your local executive representative is currently Governor General Patrick Allen, who was appointed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness and his cabinet in 2009, following Jamaican parliamentary tradition. The country's two-party system, consisting of the People’s National Party (PNP) and the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP), shows how closely Jamaican politics are still interwoven with the great model from Westminster.

Is Jamaica Safe? Background and answers

Legal situation in Jamaica - current information on the security situation in Jamaica

The colonial legacy of the United Kingdom is also reflected in the Jamaican legal system. The highest authority is still the Justice Committee of the Privy Council in London, although unlike the United Kingdom it still has the death penalty gives. The legal dependence on the former colonial power has repeatedly led to protests in Jamaica that advocate more independence. The sometimes very outdated legal system also leads to corruption. In many places there is therefore stagnation in modernization, which is having an impact on education and social services. The adverse living conditions of the population not only promote a still prevailing one Ghettoization in Jamaica's cities, but also a high crime rate, with just 40% of all cases solved. Nonetheless, almost all prisons, most of which also date from the colonial era, are hopelessly overcrowded. So there is an urgent need for action.

Homosexuals in the Caribbean - Is it Safe to Vacation in Jamaica?

The rights of homosexuals are just as poor as law enforcement, because sexual intercourse and other intimacies among same-sex people continue to be punished with up to ten years in prison and can even include hard labor. And as famous as Jamaican music is, the national dancehall scene in particular does not stand out for its tolerance. Again and again in songs "bun dem chichiman" is propagated, which translated means something like "burn the gay men". An open call for lynching that, as a member of the LGBT community, should not be taken lightly. In fact, it goes so far that Jamaican homosexuals can officially seek asylum in the UK if they face life-threatening persecution in their home country. Those affected are therefore advised to keep a low profile in Jamaica, and especially with Dancehall events not openly provoking. When it comes to marijuana possession, Jamaica is considered a penalty-free area by many. However, this is only partially correct, because even if the possession of up to 56 grams of cannabis has not been prosecuted since 2015, larger quantities are punishable as well as trade and consumption. In specific cases, there can be high fines and even prison sentences with subsequent deportation. Let us remind you once again of the more than uncomfortable accommodations in Jamaican prisons.

Fair behavior in Jamaica

As far as the national mentality is concerned, despite all the difficulties, one has clearly outgrown the former colonial rulers of the United Kingdom. Conservative attitudes and the "fine English" way give way to hearty open-mindedness and a warm, sunny disposition, as is common in the Caribbean. In addition to classic Jamaican slang words such as “dem”, “dis” or “wagwaan”, which you can proudly use when talking to Jamaicans, vacationers are also advised to study the concept of patience in detail. Because one of the most important proverbs in Jamaica is "Soon come", which means something like "sooner or later". Yes, you take life on the Caribbean island with serenity and don't like to be rushed. But this is exactly the reason why many holidaymakers come to the island, so always stay leisurely, even if things take a little longer here and there.

Are Germans welcome?

Absolutely. And like all holidaymakers on the street, they are often approached without warning and are often involved in a conversation. If you don't feel like chatting, you can decline with thanks. But please do so with a smile and a polite "No", because harsh rejection irritates the thoroughly cheerful locals very much. Jamaicans also find the unsolicited uncomfortable taking photos. Even if some Rastafarians with their majestic dreadlocks are ideal subjects for a holiday photo, please remain polite and ask for their permission first.

Jamaica vacation - security according to the Federal Foreign Office

The Federal Foreign Office is currently issuing a travel warning for Jamaica or a number of Jamaican areas in which the country's government has been so-called since 2018 "Zones of Special Operations" has set up. In addition to Mount Salem in the Parish district, which is actually popular with holidaymakers, these include Montego Bay in the Denham Town district of the Jamaican capital Kingston. This also applies to Negril, Ocho Rios and some other tourist regions, which are currently particularly controlled by the police. The current travel and safety information for Jamaica emphasizes that residents of certain regions are not allowed to go out. The main reason for the drastic measures is the increased number of cases of Drug trafficking, Assault and armed robbery. Petty crime like pickpocketing is also a problem. Occasionally the perpetrators even pretend to be police officers and demand handbag checks. Assaults on coaches also occur. So please be careful: carry as little cash with you as possible, keep your valuables safe in the hotel and make sure that you always have your travel documents ready for security checks. Since criminals prefer to act in large gatherings of people, it is advisable not to engage in conversations with dodgy strangers and to inform the local security forces immediately in the event of any abnormalities while visiting markets or on public transport. Since thieves are not infrequently very aggressive in assaults and do not shy away from drawing weapons, please do not offer heroic resistance. Instead, go to the nearest police station immediately after the incident. You should avoid offered marijuana, other narcotics or even unknown drug cocktails. Drinks must never be left unattended in restaurants or bars. You should stay away from demonstrations in view of possible assassinations.

Road Safety and Infrastructure - Is Jamaica Vacation Safe?

Car theft is not uncommon in Jamaica, as is broken-in vehicles. You should therefore not leave any valuables in the car; this applies in particular to unsupervised parking spaces. Otherwise, the infrastructure itself is in good shape. There are bus connections between the main holiday resorts. There are also many domestic flights and even an old rail network, which is currently still largely undergoing renovation and reactivation work. If you want to drive yourself, you have to go to a relative aggressive driving style stop driving in Jamaican traffic and the left-hand traffic customary for British colonies. So caution is advised, even if the maximum speed outside the cities is 80 km / h, which is quite moderate by German standards. You also need an international driver's license. If you are to blame for an accident or are involved in it, you should first continue driving after dark and report to the nearest police station. In principle, overnight overland trips in Jamaica are not advisable. Before renting a vehicle, holidaymakers must check that the car is driving, as many cars are not regularly serviced and are therefore in poor condition. This also applies to taxi rides, where it is important to agree on fixed prices with the driver in advance.

Entry and health requirements for Jamaica

Anyone coming to Jamaica as a holidaymaker must have either a valid or temporary passport with them. Children need a children's passport, which must be valid for at least six months after the end of the holiday. Fortunately, anyone who is traveling in Jamaica for no longer than 90 days does not need one visa. If you want to stay longer, you can apply for an extension on site at the Jamaican immigration authorities for a fee. Further information on entering Jamika can be found in our article Entry Requirements Jamika.

Motion Sickness - Is It Safe To Fly To Jamaica?

Another important document is the vaccination certificate. In particular, you should have vaccinations against malaria and yellow fever, as well as vaccinations against the Zika virus and dengue fever, or have them refreshed in good time before departure. Wash your hands carefully after coming into contact with other people as well as with public fittings and objects. Gastrointestinal flu and other diarrheal diseases overtake Jamaica vacationers again and again because, unlike the locals, they are not immune to the local everyday germs and poorly cleaned fruits, vegetables or water from uncertain sources quickly lead to minor infections. So be careful and stick to the usual Hygiene standards a. Drinking water can only be obtained from excellent drinking water sources or from closed bottles. As long as you follow these hygiene rules, Jamaica is relatively safe in terms of health.

All statements without guarantee. Only the competent authorities of the respective countries can provide binding information. Please note that the situation is developing dynamically and can change quickly.

This article was last updated on March 3rd. 2020.

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