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Jamaica 'safe' despite State of Emergency

PICTURED: Edmund Bartlett

JAMAICA REMAINS safe for visitors, says the island’s tourism minister.

According to The Independent, Edmund Bartlett was responding to the Foreign Office warning to British tourists in the Montego Bay area, urging them to remain within gated, guarded compounds except on hotel-operated excursions or airport transfers.

The UK’s new travel advice followed the declaration of a “State of Public Emergency” in the parish of St James.

The Jamaica Defence Force has moved in against organised crime to stop an upsurge in violence, fuelled by fighting over drugs, illegal weapons and lottery scams that target elderly people in the US.

Bartlett said: “These enhanced security measures are not out of the ordinary in international tourism markets and therefore would be understood by visitors and welcomed by residents.

“All members of the tourism fraternity have given their full support to the measure and are feeling that these actions are welcome to ensure the safety of Jamaica’s guests and citizens.”

The Independent also carried tweets from British tourists in Jamaica noting that they were comfortable and are going about their business normally. Lauren Adams tweeted: “I'm in Montego Bay at the moment and you wouldn't know there was anything going on if it wasn't for the news.”

Loretta Martinelli tweeted: “In Jamaica travelling around. In Kingston right now and moving toward MBJ [Montego Bay] soon. Having a great time. Just street-aware like everywhere else.”

In an official statement, Bartlett said:

“The present state of global security has created a heightened sense of awareness in travelers,” said Minister Bartlett. “These enhanced security measures are not out of the ordinary in international tourism markets and therefore would be understood by visitors and welcomed by residents.”

The Jamaican citizenry have been supportive of this action with a resident from the affected area declaring, “This is the best thing that could have happened at this time. It is like a belated Christmas gift.”

“All members of the tourism fraternity have given their full support to the measure and are feeling that these actions are welcome to ensure the safety of Jamaica’s guests and citizens,” added Minister Bartlett.

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