The US has strongly advised against travel to Haiti, urging American citizens to leave as soon as possible due to increasing violence. Haiti, a Caribbean island next to the Dominican Republic, is facing a severe crisis. 

Starting in early March, a well-known gang leader began an armed revolt against Prime Minister Ariel Henry, attacking government buildings and freeing prisoners to join their cause. Despite Henry resigning on March 11, violent clashes between gangs persist.

Haiti Crisis Triggers US State Department to Issue Strong Travel Warning

(Photo : Screenshot image taken from 11Alive on YouTube)

Crisis in Haiti: US Warns Citizens to Leave

In recent years, Haiti has been more famous for its gang violence than its stunning beaches. The situation has worsened to the point where the US State Department issued a "Do Not Travel" alert, its highest warning level, typically reserved for war zones or under strict government control. This warning highlights the dangers of kidnapping, with Americans often targeted, and violence near the Port-au-Prince airport and in traffic jams.

As of the start of March, Haiti declared a state of emergency. The US Embassy in Haiti is doing what it can to help Americans leave but admits options are limited. According to The Street, embassy staff were evacuated earlier in the week, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Jamaica discussing the crisis with other leaders. Americans in Haiti are advised to fill out a crisis form on the embassy's website, stay alert, avoid crowds, and be ready to stay indoors for a long time if violence erupts nearby.

Despite the turmoil, Haiti's Labadee remains a stop for some cruise ships, contrasting the severe warnings and the country's current state of insecurity.

Related Article: The Most Dangerous Countries For American Tourists Revealed

Flights and Cruises to Haiti Suspended Due to Violence

The U.S. has strongly advised against traveling to Haiti after a rise in gang violence. The country declared an emergency last week. For a long time, the U.S. State Department has marked Haiti as a "Do Not Travel" area. Recent attacks, including one on Haiti's main airport, have made the situation worse.

As shared by USA Today, because of the danger, American, JetBlue, and Spirit airlines have stopped their flights to Haiti. They are also letting passengers change their flights without extra fees. American Airlines allows changes for flights up to March 15, JetBlue until March 22, and Spirit through April 15.

Despite the warnings, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises still plan to stop in Labadee, Haiti. This place is far from the violence in Port-au-Prince. The cruise lines have not canceled any trips yet. They are watching the situation closely and have private security to keep guests and crew safe. Guests are told to stay within the resort area for their safety.

The U.S. Embassy in Haiti has said helping Americans in Haiti is tough right now. They suggest people fill out crisis forms and join the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program for updates. The U.S. military has also helped move embassy staff for safety reasons.

Read Also: Israel Assures Tourist Safety, Appeals for International Visitors