A U.S. consular agency in Mexico has been closed and cruise lines are canceling excursions to a popular tourist destination in the wake of reported security threats.
An alert issued Wednesday prohibits U.S. government employees from traveling to the coastal resort town of Playa del Carmen near Cancun and Cozumel.
The consular agency there will be closed “until further notice” due to an unspecified security threat.
“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,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told ABC News, adding that updates will be provided when more information is available.
Visitors are not being told to avoid all travel to Playa del Carmen, placing it in the Level 2 category calling for “increased caution.”
Earlier in the week, several cruise lines, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Disney, canceled all shore excursions involving ferries between Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. The cancellations came after an undetonated explosive device was found March 1 on a tourist ferry that linked the popular spots. On Feb. 21, an explosive device detonated on a tourist ferry in Playa del Carmen, injuring several people, including U.S. citizens.
Both incidents are under investigation.
The ferry ride between Cozumel and Playa del Carmen takes about 45 minutes and both are among the most popular stops for cruise lines in the Caribbean. Carnival’s cruise out of Mobile routinely makes stops in Cozumel.
Last year the State Department warned citizens to use caution when traveling to tourist hotspots such as Cancun, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen due to an increase in violent crimes such as homicides, kidnappings, carjackings and robberies.