Is it safe to travel to Cancun? Latest Foreign Office advice after Mexico nightclub shooting leaves five dead

The attack took place at a club called La Kuka, just three miles away from hotels packed with half-term holidaymakers.

Armed marines are now patrolling some of the popular tourist beaches following the shooting.

Here's what you need to know about travelling to the holiday destination.

Is it safe to travel to Cancun and other tourist spots in Mexico?

Drug-related violence in Mexico has increased massively in recent years with murders now commonplace.

However, murders in 2018 increased by 33 per cent with 33,341 murder probes opened last year.

Many fatalities are those killed in turf wars between the different gangs competing for trafficking routes into the US.

Cops are trying to protect tourist destinations like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco and Nuevo Vallarta.

Earlier this year, seven men were shot dead at a house part in Cancun after four armed men opened fire.

Last April, gunmen on water scooters shot at a beach vendor in Cancun's hotel zone although nobody was hurt.

And in August, eight bodies were found after a cartel murder spree – with two of the victims dismembered and found in separate plastic bags.

Despite this, Mexico has recently experienced a tourism boom with 45 million holidaymakers expected to visit this year, more than 500,000 being British tourists, thanks to cheap package holiday deals.

What can I do to stop falling a victim to crime?

The chances of a tourist being murdered are still very slim as most killings are gang related.

However, crime and violence are serious problems in Mexico and the security situation can still pose a risk for foreigners.

You should research your destination thoroughly and only travel during daylight hours when possible.

Monitor local media and inform trusted contacts of your travel plans, advises the UK Foreign Office.

When driving, avoid isolated roads and use toll roads (cuotas) whenever possible.

What is the latest FCO advice for Brits?

Major tourist destinations like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta have mostly not seen the levels of drug-related violence and crime experienced elsewhere in Mexico.

However, since 2017 there have been a number of reported shooting incidents and other incidents of violence in the main tourist destinations, including in locations popular with tourists.

There is currently an increased police presence in the Cancun area, including in the hotel zone.

While tourists have not been the target of such incidents, anyone in the vicinity of an incident could be affected.

Keep car doors locked and windows closed, especially at traffic lights.

There have been a number of violent carjackings and robberies along the Pacific Highway.

Those travelling in large camper vans or sports utility vehicles (SUVs) have been targeted in the past.

If you suspect you’re being followed or watched, drive to a police station or other safe place.

Be particularly alert on public transport, at airports and in bus stations.

Theft on buses is common so keep an eye on your belongings at all times.

Passengers have also been robbed and assaulted by unlicensed taxi drivers including in Mexico City.

Is there any special advice to women travellers?

Women travelling on their own should be particularly alert when travelling on public transport.

There have been incidents of rape on urban buses (micros) on routes in the south of Mexico City.

Most attacks have occurred early in the morning or late at night.

Several serious sexual offences have also occurred in tourist areas outside of Mexico City.

Take care even in areas close to hotels, and especially after dark.

Don’t leave food and drinks unattended in bars and restaurants.

Travellers have been robbed or assaulted after being drugged.

There have also been reports of tainted alcohol causing illness or blackouts.

A British woman was recently left stranded in Cancun during her 50th birthday trip after falling seriously ill, Sun Online Travel recently reported.

Maxine Howell, from the West Midlands, was left hospitalised after catching pneumonia with her insurer refusing to pay out after not declaring some of her medication.

In 2017, 300 tourists also experienced chaos in Cancun after being struck down with food poisoning across 24 luxury hotels.

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