NASSAU, Bahamas – The U.S. State Department has raised its travel advisory level for the Bahamas to “increased caution” due to a surge in violent crime in the nation’s capital, Nassau. The decision came after the U.S. Embassy in Nassau issued a security alert expressing concern about gang violence targeting Americans in the city.
The U.S. travelers were specifically advised to exercise caution, especially at night in Nassau, and to remain aware of their surroundings. The advisory also warned about the lack of private security at short-term vacation rentals and the inconsistency in regulation of recreational watercraft rentals, tours, and trips in the Bahamas.
Additionally, the State Department urged Americans not to swim alone in the Bahamas following recent shark attacks. Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis responded to the embassy’s alert, stating that he does not believe it will deter American tourists from visiting the Bahamas. However, he also expressed support for the U.S. government’s right to issue travel alerts.
The U.S. warnings come as the Bahamas grapples with escalating crime rates. Prime Minister Davis has been advocating for a crackdown on crime, including changes to the parameters for bail. The Bahamas commissioner of police and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism have not yet responded to requests for comment on the elevated travel advisory.
In a similar move, the U.S. State Department also raised its travel advisory level for Jamaica to Level 3, urging Americans to reconsider traveling to the country due to violent crime and inconsistent access to emergency medical services. The increased advisory levels for both the Bahamas and Jamaica reflect the U.S. government’s commitment to ensuring the safety of American citizens traveling abroad.