Reconsider travel to Haiti due to crime and civil unrest.
There are currently unpredictable and sporadic demonstrations in Port-au-Prince and elsewhere in Haiti. On November 29, 2018, the U.S. government authorized the departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel and their families. Protests, tire burning, and road blockages are frequent and unpredictable. Violent crime, such as armed robbery, is common. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents, and emergency response, including ambulance service, is limited or non-existent.
Travelers are sometimes targeted, followed, and violently attacked and robbed shortly after leaving the Port-au-Prince international airport. The U.S. Embassy requires its personnel to use official transportation to and from the airport, and it takes steps to detect surveillance and deter criminal attacks during these transports.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in some areas of Haiti. The Embassy discourages its personnel from walking in most neighborhoods. The Embassy prohibits its personnel from:
- Visiting establishments after dark without secure, on-site parking;
- Using any kind of public transportation or taxis;
- Visiting banks and using ATMs;
- Driving outside of Port-au-Prince at night;
- Traveling anywhere between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.; and
- Visiting certain parts of the city at any time without prior approval and special security measures in place.
Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Haiti:
- Avoid demonstrations. Do not attempt to drive through roadblocks.
- Arrange airport transfers and hotels in advance, or have your host meet you upon arrival.
- Be careful about providing your destination address in Haiti. Do not provide personal information to unauthorized individuals located in the immigration, customs, or other areas inside or near any airports in Haiti.
- As you leave the airport, make sure you are not being followed. If you notice you are being followed, drive to the nearest police station immediately.
- Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
- Purchase travel insurance and medical evacuation insurance ahead of time.
- Review information on 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 Overseas Security Advisory Council report on Haiti.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Originally Published: November 29, 2018