March 19, 2018

Playa del Carmen: Mexico Travel Alert Issued By US

09 March 2018, 08:57 | Simon Arnold

US Close Consulate in Mexico Citing a 'Security Threat'

Security Alert - U. S. Embassy Mexico City, Mexico (March 7, 2018) | U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Mexico

The agency said it had "received information about a security threat" on Wednesday, and the The U.S. Consular Agency in Playa del Carmen will be closed until further notice.

After that, the U.S. Embassy barred employees from taking ferries between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel Island, one of the world's busiest cruise ship ports of call.

The Embassy did not specify whether the threat is related to a recent explosion aboard a ferry boat, which links the tourist hotspot to the town of Cozumel.

The State Department issued a "Level 2: Exercise increased caution" alert status for Mexico earlier this year, and now advises USA travellers to avoid five states in Mexico: Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas.

The regional head of in Quintana Roo-the state Playa del Carmen is part of-played down the security risks, issuing a statement that stressed local officials do not know why the USA has barred staffers from coming and underlined that the area is still well attended by tourists.

Claire Newell with Travel Best Bets has been telling her clients to be more aware of their surroundings when heading to that popular destination.

It was just two weeks ago an explosion rocked the ferry from Playa del Carmen, injuring 25 people, including two Americans.

Asked about the new alert, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told ABC News that "we take our obligation to provide information to U.S. citizens seriously as evidenced by the clear, timely and reliable safety and security information we release worldwide".

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City has issued a security alert for a popular tourist destination. "Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate if you need assistance".

Another explosive device was found on a ferry last week, but did not detonate. Now, travel advisories range from Level 1 ("exercise normal precautions") to Level 4 ("do not travel").

"We do not know why the USA government chose to emit this alert".

The Quintana Roo Government issued a statement after the advisory was put in place saying that tourists will continue to be welcome. It warns that some areas are experiencing violent crime such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery.

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