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BAHAMAS - Exercise a high degree of caution
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for the Bahamas. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution high rates of crime, especially in Nassau.
The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.
Crime occurs mainly in Nassau and Freeport. There has been an increase in armed robberies targeting tourists in Nassau. Incidents take place in populated and isolated areas, and even in daylight hours. Do not carry large sums of cash or wear expensive jewellery. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times. If you are threatened by robbers, stay calm and do not resist. Home invasions are also of concern in Nassau.
Stay alert to your surroundings at all times, even in areas normally considered safe. Avoid deserted beaches and do not walk alone, particularly after dark. Sexual assaults are on the rise in Nassau.
Be cautious and mindful of the risks to your personal safety when partaking in recreational water activities. Foreigners have reportedly been sexually assaulted by water sports rental operators. Tourists have been seriously injured using jet skis and other watercraft due to the poorly regulated water sports rental industry in the Bahamas.
Traffic drives on the left. Road conditions are different from those in Canada. Traffic accidents frequently result in injuries and death. Roads are generally adequate in Nassau and Freeport, but road travel is limited elsewhere. Road construction is not always well marked. Bicycles, mopeds and pedestrians can be hazards, particularly on the busy streets of Nassau and Freeport.
Do not expect safety standards to be the same as in Canada.
General safety information
Rent water sports equipment only from reputable operators, inquire about insurance coverage, and insist on proper training before using the equipment.
It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry requirements. The following information on entry and exit requirements has been obtained from the Bahamian authorities. However, these requirements are subject to change at any time. It is your responsibility to check with the High Commission for the Commonwealth of the Bahamas or one of its consulates for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Canadians must present a passport to visit the Bahamas, which must be valid for at least three months beyond the date of expected departure from that country. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Permanent residents of Canada must travel with their Permanent Resident Card and a valid passport from their country of origin.
Tourist visa: Not required
Business visa: Not required
Student permit: Required
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Yellow Fever Vaccination
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
|* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.|
|Country Entry Requirement*|
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in the Caribbean, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Caribbean. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among pediatric travellers, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers at high risk visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently an outbreak of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a viral disease spread through the bite of an infected mosquito that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. Protect yourself from mosquito bites, particularly around sunrise and sunset. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The risk of dengue is higher during the daytime, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in the Caribbean, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.
Medical services and facilities
Medical care is good in Nassau and Freeport, but limited elsewhere. Medical expenses can be very high. It is normal for clinics to require patients to sign an undertaking to pay agreement and to take a credit card impression as guarantee of payment prior to providing medical care. Any incidents of sickness or injury requiring hospitalization should be reported to the Embassy of Canada.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws & culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict.
Long-line fishing is illegal in Bahamian waters. All long-line fishing gear must be stowed below deck while transiting Bahamian waters. Stiff penalties are imposed for catching crawfish (lobster) or other marine life in protected areas or out of season.
If you are interested in purchasing property or making other investments in the Bahamas, seek legal advice from appropriate professionals in Canada and the Bahamas before making commitments. Disputes arising from such activities could be prolonged and costly to resolve.
A valid Canadian driver's license is sufficient for driving in the Bahamas for up to three months.
The currency is the Bahamian dollar (BSD). U.S. dollars are widely accepted. Credit cards are accepted. Traveller’s cheques can be exchanged at banks. U.S. dollar traveller’s cheques are recommended. Automated banking machines (ABMs) are located on the larger islands, in airport terminals, banks, casinos and some hotels.
Natural disasters & climate
Natural disasters & climate
The hurricane season extends from June to the end of November. The National Hurricane Center provides additional information on weather conditions. Stay informed of regional weather forecasts, and follow the advice and instructions of local authorities.
Nassau - Consulate of Canada
Kingston - High Commission of Canada
For emergency assistance after hours, call the Consulate of Canada in Nassau or the High Commission of Canada in Kingston, Jamaica, and follow the instructions. You may also call the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa toll-free at 1 800 387-3124.
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