Barbados

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Advisories

Advisories

BARBADOS - Exercise normal security precautions

There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Barbados. Exercise normal security precautions.

Security

Security

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

Most visits to Barbados are trouble-free, but there are incidents of crime, including armed robbery and sexual assault. Petty crime and crimes of opportunity are most common. Be aware of your surroundings and exercise caution, especially when walking alone, even during the day. Avoid isolated or poorly lit areas, especially on beaches.

Do not leave valuables unattended on the beach or carry large amounts of cash or jewellery. Leave your valuables and travel documents in your hotel room safe. If the safe is not securely fixed to the wall, use the safety deposit box at the front desk, if available.

Always lock and secure your hotel room doors and windows.

Road travel

Traffic drives on the left. Roads are narrow and poorly lit in rural areas. Road signs are scarce. There are many pedestrians and cyclists, and few sidewalks. Roadside assistance is not widely available. Locating a phone booth in rural areas may be difficult. Seatbelt laws are strictly enforced.

In the event of an accident, call the police and do not move the vehicle.

Public transportation

Buses and vans are often crowded and travel at high speed.

Taxis are generally safe and reliable. They do not use meters; therefore, it is best to negotiate the price before you get in. There are standard taxi fares for most destinations. Confirm the fare with the driver before departing. Only use licensed taxis and take particular care late at night.

See Transportation Safety in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

Cruise ships

Bridgetown, the capital, is a cruise-ship stop. See Advice for Cruise Travellers for tips to ensure your well-being during a cruise.

Swimming

Exercise caution when swimming, due to strong undertow, especially on the Atlantic Ocean side of the island. Respect the flag warnings, which provide notice of water conditions and safety risks on beaches.

Emergency services

In case of an emergency, dial 211 for the police, 311 for the fire department and 511 for an ambulance. Police and ambulance response can be slow. To contact the hyperbaric or decompression chamber, located at the Barbados Defence Force, dial 246 436 5483, which is answered 24 hours a day.

Entry/exit requirements

Entry/exit requirements

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 Barbadian authorities. However, these requirements are subject to change at any time. It is your responsibility to check with the High Commission for Barbados 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.

Passport

Canadians must present a passport to visit Barbados, which must be valid for the duration of their stay. Before you leave Canada, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Visas

Tourist visa: not required
Business visa: not required
Work visa: required
Student visa: required

Immigration

The length of stay for tourists—up to a maximum of six months—is determined by immigration officers. They also determine if a work permit is required of business travellers.

You must present an onward or return ticket and complete details of your intended address to immigration officials upon arrival to Barbados.

Departure tax

A departure tax is charged for travellers aged two years and up. It is usually included in the airline ticket.

Children and travel

Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.

Yellow fever

See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.

Health

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

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.

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

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

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.

Influenza

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

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.
Risk
  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
Recommendation
  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
Food/Water

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

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

Insects and Illness

In some areas in the Caribbean, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, dengue fever, malaria and West Nile virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Chikungunya

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
  • 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.

Malaria

Malaria

There is no risk of malaria in this country.


Animals

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.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

HIV

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

If you have a medical emergency while abroad, officials at the nearest Canadian government office can provide you with a list of licensed health-care providers.

Medical facilities in Barbados are adequate. There is one public hospital (Queen Elizabeth Hospital), a private hospital and several private clinics across the island. Some clinics and hospitals may expect immediate cash payment for medical services. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and medical evacuation.

A hyperbaric chamber is located at the Barbados Defence Force base on Needham’s Point.

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.

Laws

It is an offence for civilians to dress in camouflage clothing or to carry items made of camouflage material.

The penalties for all drug offences are severe.

If you are interested in purchasing property or making other investments in Barbados, seek legal advice from professionals in Canada and in Barbados before making any commitment. Disputes arising from such activities could be prolonged and costly to resolve.

You need a (a “Visitor’s Permit to drive in Barbados, which you can obtain for BB$10 at most car rental agencies or the Barbados Licensing Authority office upon presentation of a valid Canadian driver’s licence or International Driving Permit. Visitor’s permits are also available from the Oistins Police Station, Hastings Police Station and Holetown Police Station.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Barbados. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you a Barbadian citizen. You should travel using your Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.

Money

The currency is the Barbadian dollar (BBD). The U.S. dollar is also widely accepted. Three Canadian banks operate on the island, with several branches. Royal Bank of Canada normally accepts Canadian bank cards for direct transactions with other banks in Canada.

Natural disasters & climate

Natural disasters & climate

Hurricane Season

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.

The Barbados Department of Emergency Management provides a listing of emergency shelters that may be used during a hurricane or other hazard event.

Barbados is located in an active seismic zone.

Assistance

Assistance

Bridgetown - High Commission of Canada
Street AddressBishop's Court Hill, St. Michael, P.O. Box 404, Bridgetown, Barbados BB11113Telephone(246) 629-3550Fax(246) 437-7436Emailbdgtn-cs@international.gc.caInternetwww.barbados.gc.caServicesPassport Services AvailableTwitter@CanHCBarbados

For emergency assistance after hours, contact the High Commission of Canada in Bridgetown and follow the instructions. You may also call the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa toll-free at 1-800-387-3124 or collect at 613-996-8885.

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