Haiti- Level 4: Do Not Travel
Updated to reflect the Ordered Departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel and eligible family members for Embassy Port-au-Prince.
Do not travel to Haiti due to kidnapping, crime, civil unrest, and poor health care infrastructure. On July 27, 2023, the Department of State ordered the departure of family members of U.S. government employees and non-emergency U.S. government employees. U.S. citizens in Haiti should depart Haiti as soon as possible by commercial or other privately available transportation options, in light of the current security situation and infrastructure challenges. U.S. citizens wishing to depart Port-au-Prince should monitor local news and only do so when considered safe.
Country Summary: Kidnapping is widespread, and victims regularly include U.S. citizens. Kidnappers may use sophisticated planning or take advantage of unplanned opportunities, and even convoys have been attacked. Kidnapping cases often involve ransom negotiations and U.S. citizen victims have been physically harmed during kidnappings. Victim’s families have paid thousands of dollars to rescue their family members.
Violent crime, often involving the use of firearms, such as armed robbery, carjackings, and kidnappings for ransom that include U.S. citizens are common. Mob killings against presumed criminals have been on the rise since late April. Travelers are sometimes followed and violently attacked and robbed shortly after leaving the Port-au-Prince international airport. Robbers and carjackers also attack private vehicles stuck in heavy traffic congestion and often target lone drivers, particularly women. As a result, the U.S. Embassy requires its personnel to use official transportation to and from the airport.
Protests, demonstrations, tire burning, and roadblocks are frequent, unpredictable, and can turn violent. The U.S. government is extremely limited in its ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Haiti – assistance on site is available only from local authorities (Haitian National Police and ambulance services). Local police generally lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. Shortages of gasoline, electricity, medicine, and medical supplies continue throughout much of Haiti. Public and private medical clinics and hospitals often lack qualified medical staff and even basic medical equipment and resources.
U.S. government personnel are limited only to the confined area around the Embassy and are prohibited from walking in Port-au-Prince. U.S. government personnel in Haiti are prohibited from:
· Using any kind of public transportation or taxis
· Visiting banks and using ATMs
· Driving at night
· Traveling anywhere between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.
· Traveling without prior approval and special security measures in place.
Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Haiti.
The Haitian Ministry of Health and Population (MSPP) has confirmed an outbreak of cholera in the country.
If you decide to travel to Haiti:
· Avoid demonstrations and crowds. Do not attempt to drive through roadblocks.
· Arrange airport transfers and hotels in advance, or have your host meet you upon arrival.
· Do not provide personal information to unauthorized individuals (e.g. people without official uniforms or credentials) located in the immigration, customs, or other areas inside or near any airports.
· If you are being followed as you leave the airport, drive to the nearest police station immediately.
· Travel by vehicle to minimize walking in public.
· Travel in groups of at least two people.
· Always keep vehicle doors locked and windows closed when driving.
· Exercise caution and alertness, especially when driving through markets and other traffic congested areas.
· 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.
· Review the Country Security Report on Haiti.
· Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.