Fire and rescue services
Call 119, or go to the hospital.
Health advice due to COVID-19 is continually changing. Rules and restrictions to prevent outbreaks can change quickly. It’s important to regularly check the rules in the destinations you’re travelling to and transiting through.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Full travel advice: Local contacts
Violent gang and drug-related crimes are common, including against tourists and expats. This includes:
Hotspots for violent crime include:
Criminals have targeted travellers after accepting spiked food or drink, including in tourist resorts.
Travellers have reported assaults carried out by resort staff and other travellers.
Most hotels and resorts are well-guarded but always lock your doors and windows.
To protect yourself from crime:
If you're attacked or robbed, don't resist. Criminals are often armed, and you can be seriously injured or killed.
Gang violence along Mountain View Avenue has led to motorists being shot in the crossfire.
You're more likely to be robbed when travelling to and from Norman Manley International Airport at night.
You can be robbed and assaulted after accepting rides from strangers or using unofficial taxis.
To protect yourself while on the road:
Petty crime, including bag snatching, pickpocketing and theft, is common. Old Kingston and overcrowded public transport are hotspots for pickpockets and bag snatchers.
Thefts from hotel room safes by hotel staff can occur in large resorts.
To protect yourself from petty crime:
Scams and fraud
Internet romance and financial scams are prevalent in Jamaica. Scams are often initiated through Internet postings/profiles or by unsolicited emails and letters. Never send money to someone who calls to say you have won the lottery in Jamaica. Do not travel to Jamaica to collect a "prize."
You may experience credit card or ATM fraud. To protect yourself from fraud:
Authorities may impose a State of Emergency or other measures in an area affected by insecurity with little warning. Such measures allow the military to support the police in joint security operations. Avoid affected areas and follow the advice of local authorities. Security forces have increased rights to conduct searches, seizures, and detain persons of interest when a state of emergency is in effect. Authorities can set curfews with little or no notice. Expect road closures and travel delays.
Demonstrations and protests
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent. Kingston is a hotspot for this activity. Firearms might be used.
Demonstrations can happen without notice along the roads leading to Norman Manley International Airport. Roadblocks are often set up.
Authorities can close roads and impose curfews at short notice.
To protect yourself during periods of unrest:
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Transport and tour operators may not meet Australian safety standards or may not maintain safety equipment, including for scuba diving.
Operators may not take recommended safety precautions or meet maintenance standards.
If you plan to do a tour or adventure activity:
If proper safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.
To protect yourself in case of a natural disaster:
Hurricanes and severe weather
The Caribbean hurricane season is from June to November. Tropical storms and hurricanes can occur in other months. The direction and strength of hurricanes can change suddenly.
Landslides, mudslides and flooding can also occur. Essential services, such as water and electricity, might be affected.
If you're travelling to Jamaica during hurricane season, check if severe weather has affected tourist services.
If there's a hurricane or severe storm:
Severe weather may also affect:
To protect yourself if a hurricane is approaching:
Jamaica is in an active earthquake zone.
Get to know the earthquake safety measures for each place you stay and visit.
Tsunamis may occur in Jamaica. A tsunami can arrive within minutes of a tremor or earthquake. Be alert to warnings.
Register with the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to receive tsunami alerts.
If you're near the coast, move to high ground straight away if advised by local authorities, or if you:
Don't wait for official warnings such as alarms or sirens. Once on high ground, monitor local media.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave.
Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won’t pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
If you have immediate concerns for your welfare, or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Jamaica. Take enough legal medication for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
For information on Jamaica's COVID−19 vaccination program, visit the Ministry of Health and Wellness website. You should consult your local health professional for advice on vaccine options, including assistance that may be available locally. The Australian Government cannot provide advice on the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines that have been approved for use outside of Australia's regulatory process.
HIV/AIDS is common in Jamaica. Take appropriate precautions if engaging in activities that expose you to the risk of infection.
Zika virus is found in Jamaica, but it's not widespread. If you're pregnant, the Australian Department of Health recommends that you:
The risk of contracting insect-borne illnesses increases in the wet season from June to December. These include:
To reduce your risk of diseases spread by insects:
Get medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, rash or bad headache.
Foodborne, waterborne and other infectious diseases are common. These include:
Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.
To protect yourself from illness:
Get medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
Standards in public hospitals in tourist areas and in Kingston are reasonable. Medical care is limited in smaller towns and rural areas.
Emergency medical services are only located in Kingston and Montego Bay.
Costs for treatment can be high. You'll have to pay cash or give a credit card imprint at hospitals and private medical facilities before a doctor will treat you.
Public hospitals may only need a deposit if you're covered by health insurance.
If you become seriously ill or injured, you may need to be evacuated to Miami or another place with suitable facilities. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
There's a hyperbaric chamber in the Discovery Bay Marine Lab near Ocho Rios.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for drug offences are severe. You can be sent to prison for carrying illegal drugs, including marijuana.
You'll be screened for drugs when you leave Jamaica.
Serious crimes, such as murder, can attract the death penalty.
In Jamaica, it's illegal to:
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you’re overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Jamaica recognises dual citizenship.
Same-sex relationships are illegal and aren't widely accepted.
Verbal and physical aggression can happen towards people in a same-sex relationship.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, including COVID-19 vaccinations and tests, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering.
Visa-free travel for short stays
You won't need a visa to enter Jamaica if your visit is for either:
In other situations, apply for a visa through a Jamaican Embassy or Consulate.
Visa and other entry and exit conditions, such as customs and quarantine regulations, can change at short notice. Contact a Jamaican embassy for details.
Jamaica doesn't have an Embassy or Consulate in Australia. Its nearest mission is the Embassy of Jamaica in Tokyo (Japanese).
Travel via the United States
If you're travelling through the US, you must also meet US entry and transit requirements. This includes transit through Hawaii or another US point of entry.
Check your visa requirements with a US Embassy or Consulate before travelling.
You don't need to present a negative COVID test before travelling to Jamaica.
You may still be tested for COVID-19 on arrival if:
You may be screened for symptoms at the airport.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Lost or stolen passport
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
The local currency is the Jamaican Dollar (JAD).
Declare all currency when you arrive. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.
Only change money at commercial banks and exchange bureaus.
Tourist spots in major towns accept international credit cards. Before you travel, ask your bank if your cards will work in Jamaica.
ATMs aren't widely available outside Kingston and Montego Bay.
Only use ATMs in safe places, such as hotels. Criminals target people using ATMs on the street.
To drive in Jamaica, you need both:
You must get your IDP before leaving Australia.
You're twice as likely to die in a motor vehicle accident in Jamaica than in Australia.
Night-time driving is especially dangerous.
Driving hazards include:
Weather conditions can make some roads impassable.
Authorities can close roads at short notice, including for security reasons. See Safety
Breakdown assistance is limited in urban areas and unavailable in rural areas.
By law, you must wear a seat belt in cars and taxis.
If you plan to drive in Jamaica:
Get up-to-date advice on road closures and curfews. See Safety
Always wear a helmet. This applies to mopeds, motor scooters and motorbikes.
Check if your travel insurance policy covers you for riding a motorcycle, quad bike or similar vehicle.
Use only registered taxis and limousines, preferably arranged through your hotel. Travellers using unofficial taxis have been robbed and assaulted.
Use taxis authorised by the Jamaican United Travellers' Association (JUTA). You can order JUTA taxis at hotels or via a uniformed attendant at the airport.
To protect yourself from scams and overcharging:
Avoid public transport. It's not safe due to high levels of crime and overcrowding.
Cruise ships dock in Jamaica.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Jamaica's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Call 119, or go to the hospital.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Check the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can’t do to help you overseas.
Australia has a consulate in Kingston. It provides limited consular services and conducts passport interviews.
You can get full consular assistance from the Australian High Commission in Trinidad and Tobago.
80-82 Second Street, Port Bustamante
Kingston 13, Jamaica
Phone: +1 876 361 1332
18 Herbert Street, St Clair
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago
Phone: +1 868 822 5450
Fax: +1 868 822 5490
Check the High Commission website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.