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TONGA - Exercise normal security precautions
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Tonga. Exercise normal security precautions.
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.
Petty crime occurs. An increase in theft, including house break-ins, has been reported. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times. The incidence of crime increases after dark.
Some cases of sexual assault targeting foreigners have occurred. Women should avoid isolated areas, especially at night. Consult our publication entitled Her Own Way: A Woman’s Safe-Travel Guide for travel safety information specifically aimed at Canadian women.
Demonstrations may occur and have the potential to turn violent suddenly. They can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.
Traffic drives on the left. Driving can be hazardous due to poor road conditions and lack of adequate lighting for night-time driving. Roads in Nuku’alofa are paved, but most other roads are not.
Inter-island ferries do not always meet international safety standards. You should verify the credentials of the operator and the state of the vessel’s safety equipment.
Internal air service can be unpredictable. Flights are often cancelled on short notice.
The Government of Canada does not provide information on the safety of foreign domestic airlines. Research foreign domestic airlines, aircraft and government safety supervision if you have concerns about aviation safety standards abroad.
General safety information
You are encouraged to register with the High Commission of Australia in Nuku'alofa in order to receive the latest information on situations and events that could affect your safety.
Exercise caution when swimming as dangerous currents exist.
Basic tourist facilities and services are available in Nuku'alofa but limited elsewhere.
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 Tongan authorities. However, these requirements are subject to change at any time. It is your responsibility to check with the High Commission of the Kingdom of Tonga 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 Tonga, which must be valid for at least six 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.
Tourist visas are issued upon arrival. All other visas must be obtained prior to arrival.
Tourist visa: Required (for stays of up to 30 days)
Business visa: Required (for stays of up to 30 days)
Student visa: Required
An onward or return ticket and proof of sufficient funds are required to visit Tonga.
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 Oceanic Pacific Islands, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Oceanic Pacific Islands. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
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.
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. Certain infections found in the Oceanic Pacific Islands, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Medical facilities are limited. Nuku'alofa and Neiafu have hospitals with emergency facilities. In the event of a major accident or illness, medical evacuation to New Zealand or Australia may be necessary. Medical transport is very expensive and payment up front is often required.
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. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences, community work or heavy fines.
Tonga has very strict rules regarding impaired driving. Local authorities conduct random breath testing for alcohol.
Homosexual activity is illegal.
Offences such as theft and sexual or physical assault may result in corporal punishment.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Tonga. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you a Tongan 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.
Dress conservatively, behave discreetly, and respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities. It is an offence to appear in public without a shirt except on the beach.
The currency is the Tongan dollar or pa'anga (TOP). While automated banking machines (ABMs) are available on Tongatapu, especially in Nuku’alofa, service may be limited on other islands. Traveller's cheques and foreign currency can be exchanged at major banks. Credit cards are accepted at most major hotels, as well as at some restaurants and stores.
Natural disasters & climate
Natural disasters & climate
Tonga is located in an active seismic zone and is prone to earthquakes and tsunamis. Tsunamis may occur after a strong earthquake and can travel long distances across the Pacific.
The rainy (or monsoon) and typhoon seasons in the South Pacific extend from November to April. Severe storms can cause flooding and landslides, resulting in significant loss of life and extensive damage to infrastructure, and hampering the provision of essential services. Keep informed of regional weather forecasts, avoid disaster areas and follow the advice of local authorities.
During a typhoon or monsoon, hotel guests may be required to leave accommodations near the shore and move to safety centres inland. Travel to and from outer islands may be disrupted for some days. Contact the Meteorological Office (tel.: 23401) or consult the Fiji Meteorological Service for weather reports if you are contemplating sea journeys.
Consult our Typhoons and monsoons page for more information.
There is no resident Canadian government office in Tonga. You can obtain consular assistance and further information from the High Commission of Australia (under the Canada-Australia Consular Services Sharing Agreement) in Nuku’alofa.
Nuku'alofa - High Commission of Australia
Wellington - High Commission of Canada
For emergency assistance after hours, call the High Commission of Australia in Nuku’alofa and follow the instructions. You may also make a collect call to the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at 613-996-8885.
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