The health risk information presented here is summarized from Shoreland Travax®, a decision-support tool used by health care providers to perform a detailed health risk analysis based on specific locations, individual travel styles, and traveler risk behaviors. Travax provides practitioners current, independently researched malaria risk and prevention recommendations in a map-based format that goes beyond the annual WHO and CDC statements included here. Not included here are current reports from Travax of disease outbreaks or environmental events that may pose elevated risks to travelers’ health and safety. The Providers section of this site offers a directory of health care providers who utilize Shoreland Travax for travel health counseling. Learn more about the detailed reports and maps available from these practitioners (includes links to samples).
Jamaica is a developing nation but is in the upper half of the world's economies. Located south of Cuba in the Caribbean Sea, its climate is tropical.
See also: Library article for Yellow Fever
Although yellow fever does not occur in Jamaica, an official yellow fever vaccination certificate may be required depending on your itinerary.
- Requirement: A vaccination certificate is required for travelers aged ≥ 1 year coming from countries with risk of YF transmission. Note: This applies to airport layovers longer than 12 hours in these countries.
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, rabies, or typhoid fever. Routine immunizations, such as those that prevent tetanus/diphtheria or "childhood" diseases, should be reviewed and updated as needed.
See also: Library article for Malaria
The following is current information as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)No statement given.
CDC—Health Information for International Travel (current online edition)Areas with malaria: None.
Drug resistance: Not applicable.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
Moderate risk exists throughout the country, including in deluxe accommodations. Food and beverage precautions may reduce the likelihood of illness.
Travelers should carry loperamide for self-treatment of diarrhea and, if risk is moderate to high, an antibiotic to add if diarrhea is severe. Consult a knowledgeable health care provider regarding which antibiotic is appropriate for you and most effective for your destination.
Other Food-Borne Illnesses
Precautions to prevent seafood poisoning may be needed.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
Other Disease and Health Risks
The material below includes information from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), as well as from additional open-source material. Standard safety precautions that apply to all international travel can be found in the Library article Safety and Security.
Consular Travel Advice
Due to ongoing security concerns, U.S. (DOS) advises avoiding travel to Spanish Town, Saint Catherine Parish, and some areas of Kingston and Montego Bay. U.K. (FCO), Canada (GAC), and Australia (DFAT) have no current warnings.
No intrinsic risk of attack by terrorist groups exists, but unforeseen attacks are possible.
High risk of violent crime (armed robbery, sexual assault, and murder) exists throughout the country, especially in Kingston (August Town, Harbour View, West Kingston, and Grant's Pen neighborhoods), Montego Bay (Flankers, Canterbury, Norwood, Mango Walk, Rose Heights, and Mount Salem neighborhoods; St. Clavers Avenue; and Hart Street), and Spanish Town. Sexual assaults occurring in beach resorts have often been perpetrated by resort or hotel employees.
Risk of petty crime exists throughout the country, especially in areas frequented by tourists (including resort areas).
Kidnappings by criminal groups may occur throughout the country, especially in Kingston, Montego Bay, and Spanish Town.
Scams involving ATMs, credit cards, and a wide range of financial activities have been reported.
Risk exists of robberies and/or assaults occurring after consuming intentionally drugged food or drink; tourists are frequently targeted (including in resorts).
Protests and demonstrations occur throughout the country and have the potential to turn violent without warning. Bystanders are at risk of harm from violence or from the response by authorities. Disruption to transportation, free movement, or the ability to carry out daily activities may occur.
A dangerous security environment (primarily drug or gang violence) exists in several neighborhoods of Kingston, Montego Bay, and Spanish Town.
Rent water sports equipment from reputable operators. Scuba dive only with personnel certified by PADI or NAUI, and use equipment only from PADI- or NAUI-certified dive operators.
Risk of traffic-related injury or death exists. The road-traffic death rate is 7 to 12 per 100,000 population. The rate is less than 10 in most high-income countries.
Traffic flows on the left-hand side of the road. Travelers (including drivers and pedestrians) accustomed to traffic moving on the opposite side should be vigilant when navigating traffic.
Due to security concerns, travel on Mountain View Avenue between Kingston and Norman Manley International Airport is unsafe.
Many taxis are unsafe. Use taxis from official ranks or dispatched via smart phone app or radio from a reputable company and ascertain the license or identification number of the dispatched vehicle.
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has determined that the civil aviation authority of this country oversees its air carriers in accordance with minimum international safety standards.
The hurricane season is from June through November. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur.
Seismic activity frequently occurs.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Jamaica
- United States: [+1-876] 702-6000; jm.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+1-876] 926-1500; www.jamaica.gc.ca
- United Kingdom: [+1-876] 936 0700; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-high-commission-jamaica
- Australia: [+1 876] 361 1332
Jamaica's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.embassyofjamaica.org
- In Canada: www.jhcottawa.ca
- In the U.K.: jhcuk.org
- In Australia: [+61] 0402-205-266
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.