Monday 19 August, 2019

US issues Level 2 Travel Advisory for T&T after Carnival

The United States (U.S) Department of State has issued a Level 2 Travel Advisory for citizens of the United States travelling Trinidad and Tobago.

It was published today, Ash Wednesday, March 6, 2019. 

This is the first Travel Advisory for the Twin-Island Republic, after two security alerts issued at the end of last month pertaining to Carnival.

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There are four Travel Advisory Levels with number 4 being the highest and most serious. Level two generally is 'Exercise Increased Caution'. According to the Consular Affairs website, this means 'Be aware of heightened risks to safety and security. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time.'

However, the Travel Advisory for Trinidad states specifically 'Exercise increased caution in Trinidad and Tobago due to crime and terrorism. Some areas have increased risk.'

There is a warning against travelling to certain parts of the islands as well. See the full Travel Advisory below:

Do not travel to Laventille, Beetham, Sea Lots, Cocorite, and the interior of Queen's Park Savannah in Port of Spain due to crime.  

Violent crime, such as murder, robbery, assault, sexual assault, home invasion, and kidnapping, is common. 

Gang activity, such as narcotics trafficking, is common.  A significant portion of violent crime is gang-related and geographically concentrated.

Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Trinidad and Tobago:

  • Use caution when walking or driving at night.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not display overt signs of wealth, such as expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting ATMs. 
  • Avoid all demonstrations and political gatherings.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Trinidad and Tobago.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations.
  • Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Port of Spain

Violence and shootings occur regularly in some areas of Port of Spain.  U.S. government personnel are prohibited from travelling to the following areas:  Laventille, Beetham, Sea Lots, Cocorite, and the interior of Queens’ Park Savannah. After dark, U.S. government personnel are prohibited from travelling to downtown Port of Spain, Fort George overlook, and all beaches.   

 

Prior to the above Travel Advisory, two Security Alerts were posted in February to alert citizens that the U.S. Embassy would be closed during Carnival Monday and Tuesday.

Security Alert issued February 27, 2019:

Event:  The U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain will be closed on Monday, March 4th and Tuesday, 5th during Carnival. The U.S. Embassy will open again on Wednesday, March 6th.  During the long holiday weekend, we encourage you to maintain a high level of awareness at all times, especially if you are participating in events involving large crowds. For your awareness, Carnival route maps are available on the National Carnival Commission of Trinidad and Tobago website at http://www.ncctt.org/new/ .

U.S. citizens in Trinidad and Tobago who need emergency services should call the U.S. Embassy at 868 622 6371 for assistance.

We encourage the following precautions and safety reminders.

Actions to Take:

  • Keep a low profile.
  • Monitor local media for updates.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Review your personal security plans.
  • Avoid walking alone if possible, especially late at night.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by tourists.
  • Use caution when walking or driving at night.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive jewelry or watches.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Make contingency plans to leave.
  • Have travel documents up to date and easily accessible.

Individuals should avoid proceeding beyond the following boundaries alone:

  • East of Charlotte Street between Queen’s Park Savannah and South Quay.
  • West of Richmond Street between Independence Square South and Duke Street, however it is safe to proceed west along Park Street onto Ariapita Avenue and Tragarete Road.
  • North of Queen’s Park Savannah.
  • South of South Quay.

Entry and exit to and from Port-of-Spain should be made via main arteries (roads), i.e.:

  • Churchill Roosevelt Highway (do not stop except at stop lights between The Lighthouse at South Quay and Barataria overpass).
  • Avoid using Eastern Main Road (especially between South Quay and The Croisse, San Juan).  Note it is illegal to use the Priority  Bus  Route without a pass, and even then it is not safe between the mentioned areas.
  • Lady Young Road (if absolutely necessary; avoid unnecessary stops especially at night).
  • Tragarete Road onto Western Main Road through St. James.
  • Wrightson Road onto Audrey Jeffers Highway.
  • Avoid alternative short cuts through Belmont, Laventille, Morvant, East Dry River and Beetham Gardens.

Security Alert issued February 26, 2019:

Carnival will be celebrated on Monday, March 4th and Tuesday, March 5th.  We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable 2019 Carnival season and offer the following safety reminders:

  • Keep a low profile.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive jewelry or watches.
  • Use caution when walking or driving at night.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by tourists.

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