With the travel season in full bloom and travelers still hitting the Caribbean for quick weekend getaways, it is important to be aware of the sociopolitical climate in your destination before closing up your bags and heading to the airport.
On Tuesday, the US State Department issued an updated Level 2 travel warning for the Dominican Republic, advising travelers to exercise increased caution in the area due to crime. According to the agency, “violent crime, including armed robbery, homicide and sexual assault is a concern throughout the Dominican Republic.”
For now, the agency is not advising citizens to avoid travel to the country, but it is strongly recommending that travelers adopt important precautionary measures if deciding to do so. Among them, travelers are being advised to be aware of their surroundings, and not to physically resist any robbery attempt. Additionally, wearing expensive watches, jewelry, or any other displays of wealth are discouraged.
Tourists should also be aware that the country’s resort areas are better policed than other parts of the country including urban areas like Santo Domingo and, due to “the wide availability of weapons, the use and trade of illicit drugs, and a weak criminal justice system,” criminality levels tend to be higher on the broader scale.
At this time, travelers should also reconsider meeting with strangers when in the Dominican Republic. As communicated by the agency, there have been reports of US citizens being robbed by people they met from dating apps, among other serious incidents.
For more information, you can visit the travel advisory right here.