by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | July 11, 2018
Due to widespread civil unrest and crime in Port-au-Prince, the capital city of Haiti, the State Department has issued a Level 4 'Do Not Travel' advisory for the island nation. Haiti has been rocked by violent protests, looting and a strike by minibus and taxi drivers, as well as the closure of most businesses, after the government announced a plan to raise fuel prices.
Due to widespread civil unrest and crime, the State Department has issued the following warning:
There is currently widespread civil unrest and violent demonstrations in Haiti. Protests, tire burning and road blockages are frequent and unpredictable. On July 9, 2018, the U.S. government authorized the voluntary departure of nonemergency U.S. government personnel and their families. Right now, the U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. The Department will review this guidance as soon as the current security situation is resolved.
Violent crime, such as armed robbery, is common. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents or emergencies.
Even under normal circumstances, the U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in some areas of Haiti. U.S. Embassy personnel must receive permission from the Embassy security officer to travel to some areas of Port-au-Prince. Embassy employees are discouraged, and in some instances prohibited, from walking in city neighborhoods, including Pétion Ville. After dark, Embassy personnel are prohibited from visiting establishments without secure, on-site parking. Travel outside of Port-au-Prince is prohibited after dark. Embassy employees are under a curfew from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. The use of public banks and ATMs by Embassy employees is prohibited at all times. Embassy personnel are prohibited from using any kind of public transportation throughout the country.
Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Haiti:
• Avoid demonstrations and roadblocks.
• Arrange airport transfers and hotels in advance, or have your host meet you upon arrival.
• Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
• Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
• 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 Haiti.
• U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler's Checklist.