Trinidad and Tobago
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TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO - Exercise a high degree of caution
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Trinidad and Tobago. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution due to a high crime rate.
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.
Violent robberies, assaults and rape occur frequently. Cruise ship passengers should take particular care when walking around the docks in Port of Spain. Gang and drug-related violence, including shootings and kidnappings, occurs and can affect bystanders. Crimes of opportunity such as petty theft tend to increase during the annual Trinidad Carnival in February or March and during the Christmas holidays.
Remain highly vigilant in Laventille and at popular tourist sites such as Fort George, La Brea (Pitch Lake) and Las Cuevas beach, where crimes targeting foreigners have been reported. Incidents of gangs following cars leaving Trinidad's Piarco International Airport and robbing travellers once they reach their destination have been reported. Avoid unpopulated areas such as scenic overlooks, especially after dark.
Avoid visiting isolated and unpatrolled beaches due to the risk of crime. On certain beaches, security is provided from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. only.
Tourists and foreign nationals are also victims of crime in Tobago. Maintain a high level of vigilance and personal security awareness at all times. Avoid visiting isolated and unpatrolled beaches due to the risk of crime, even in daylight. Ensure that your personal belongings and travel documents are secure at all times. Do not carry large amounts of cash or show signs of affluence. If possible, stay in hotels or villas in gated communities with guards and cameras.
Home invasions are common. If you are staying in either private or commercial accommodations, you should be aware of your surroundings at all times and ensure that windows and doors are securely locked.
Demonstrations and elections
Sporadic demonstrations and work-related strikes may cause significant disturbances throughout the country. Demonstrations may increase in the lead up to the general elections scheduled for September 7, 2015. Avoid large crowds and demonstrations and monitor local news reports for current information.
Traffic drives on the left. Most vehicles are right-hand-drive, but left-hand-drive vehicles are permitted.
Road conditions are good on highways in Trinidad, but less so on secondary roads, particularly in the mountainous northern region. Rural roads are generally narrow, in poor repair and often congested. If possible, avoid travel outside Port of Spain or San Fernando after dark, especially the Beetham Highway. Drive with windows closed and doors locked, since thefts can occur at traffic lights or in slow-moving traffic. Report traffic accidents to the nearest police station.
There is an extensive public transportation system of taxis, maxi-taxis (vans) and larger buses.
Taxi services from hotels are more expensive than public or route taxis. Route taxis will often stop at any point along the road to pick up or drop off passengers. The airport is served by the Airport Taxi Drivers' Cooperative. Negotiate fares before departure. Take registered taxis after dark.
Do not expect safety standards to be the same as in Canada.
Dial 999 for police and 990 for ambulance services or firefighters.
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 authorities of Trinidad and Tobago. However, these requirements are subject to change at any time. It is your responsibility to check with the High Commission for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago 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 Trinidad and Tobago, which must be valid for the duration of their stay. Before you leave, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Tourist visa: Not required (for less than 90 days)
Business visa: Not required (for less than 30 days)
Student visa: Required
Tourists receive a stamp indicating the period they are allowed to stay in the country (usually 90 days). To obtain an extension, apply through the Trinidad and Tobago Immigration Division.
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
Free medical services are offered to the public at the five general hospitals throughout the country. Private hospital care can be quite expensive.
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.
Possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs is severely punished. You should not under any circumstance carry a stranger's baggage.
It is illegal for civilians to wear army or camouflage clothing.
Persons found guilty of drinking and driving face heavy fines. Police use randomly placed roadblocks on major roads to check for drunk drivers and use breathalysers to test drivers on the spot.
Seat belts are mandatory for drivers and front-seat passengers. Failure to comply may lead to a fine.
Boaters must register their firearms with customs at the point of entry.
Visitors are allowed to drive for 90 days with a valid driver's licence.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Trinidad and Tobago. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you a Trinidad and Tobago 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.
The currency is the Trinidad and Tobago dollar (TTD).
Major credit cards are widely accepted. Ensure your card remains in view at all times and retain a copy of your transaction.
You can convert Canadian currency at all major banks or Bureaux de Change in Trinidad and Tobago.
Automated Banking Machines (ABMs) are common throughout Trinidad and Tobago. Only use ABMs located inside a bank, supermarket, airport or large commercial building during business hours a. Leave copies of your card numbers with a family member in case of emergency.
Canadian dollar traveller's cheques are not widely accepted. If necessary, use U.S. dollar traveller's cheques, as you can exchange them at banks when you present your passport (banks do not accept photocopies).
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.
Trinidad and Tobago is located in an active seismic zone.
Port of Spain - High Commission of Canada
For emergency assistance after hours, contact the High Commission of Canada in Port of Spain and follow the instructions. You may also call the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa toll-free at 1-800-387-3124 or make a collect call to 613-996-8885.
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