Brits to Jamaica despite violence

Holidaymakers are continuing to travel to Jamaica despite ongoing clashes in Kingston, the capital city, where more than 60 people are believed to have died…

 All Britons on the island have been told to exercise "extra caution" when leaving their hotel, following several days of fighting between police, the military and supporters of Christopher Coke, who is wanted in the United States on suspicion of drug trafficking.

 The Foreign Office is advising against all non-essential travel in and around Kingston – particularly the areas of West Kingston and Mountain View – and warns of "sporadic outbreaks" of violence throughout the city, where a state of emergency as been declared.

Norman Manley International Airport, to the south of Kingston, was forced to close earlier this week, but has now reopened.

The British High Commission has also been closed, but is due to reopen today.

John Lynch, the Jamaica Tourist Board's director of tourism, has insisted that the north coast, which attracts the majority of tourists, is safe.

"Travellers to the north coast of Jamaica – including Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Port Antonio and Negril – are some four hours from the area of concern," he said.

Tour operators – including Thomas Cook, Thomson and Kuoni – have confirmed that normal booking conditions apply, meaning concerned holidaymakers will not be able to cancel or re-arrange their trips free of charge.

"Kingston is over 120 miles away from the hotels where we operate, and the north coast remains calm with no disruptions," said Thomson, in a statement.

"We are confident that those customers currently in or travelling to our resorts will be unaffected by the unrest."

The majority of services from the UK fly in to Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.

British Airways is rerouting flights – including its BA2263/BA2262 service, scheduled to arrive at Kingston today – to Montego Bay. The airline is permitting passengers due to fly to or from Kingston in the next 72 hours to rebook their flight. See www.britishairways.com/travel/flightops/public/en_gb for more details.

Virgin Atlantic is still flying to Kingston, but says the situation is under constant review.

See www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/north-central-america/jamaica for Foreign Office advice.

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

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