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COVID-19 – Global travel advisory
Effective date: March 13, 2020
Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.
This advisory overrides other risk levels on this page, with the exception of any risk levels for countries or regions where we advise to avoid all travel.
Bahrain - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Bahrain due to protests, demonstrations and the threat of terrorist attacks.
Safety and security
COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions
Preventative measures and restrictions are in place. You must wear a face covering in public areas, including on public transportation and taxis. If you violate these restrictions, you could be fined for endangering public health.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities, including those related to physical distancing.
- Avoid crowded areas
There is a threat of terrorism. Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
- Western interests in and around Manama
Increased security measures are currently in place and may be reinforced upon short notice. Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching occurs. Violent crime is rare.
- Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
- Exercise caution in the old market areas (souks), villages and poorer districts, especially after dark
Demonstrations take place regularly, particularly on evenings and weekends. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. Participants have been known to throw rocks, Molotov cocktails and use makeshift explosive devices during protests. Police have historically used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse crowds.
Areas prone to demonstrations include:
- Bani Jamra
- the Budaiya Highway and surrounding villages.
Demonstrations can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)
Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.
Women have been detained when reporting sexual assault, as they must prove that the sex was not consensual to avoid being charged under extramarital sex statutes (see Laws and customs).
Safe-travel guide for women
Road conditions are very good throughout the country. Drivers, however, are often aggressive. Drifting sands and roaming animals can pose hazards.
Off-road driving can be hazardous.
- Only go off-road driving in a convoy of four-wheel-drive vehicles and with an experienced guide
- Leave your itinerary with a family member or friend
- Be well prepared, and carry extra gasoline, water, food and a cellular phone
In the event of an accident resulting in injuries, do not move your vehicle until a report has been filed, even if the vehicle impedes traffic. If there are injuries, call 999; if there are no injuries, call 199.
Taxis are generally safe.
- Use only officially marked taxis
- Negotiate fares in advance, or insist that the driver use the meter, as you may be overcharged
On June 5, 2017, the governments of Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen announced the severing of diplomatic relations with Qatar. Some airlines have suspended flights to and from Qatar. Further measures could impact transportation. If you are planning to travel from Bahrain to or through Qatar, verify your travel plans with your airline or travel agent. Monitor local media for the latest development.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General information about foreign domestic airlines
There is a curfew in effect on the waterways around Bahrain from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. Vessels operating in these waters may be detained and inspected, even outside curfew hours.
Regional tension may affect your travel. Exercise caution in the following areas, as vessels have been subject to detention, inspection and attacks:
- Gulf of Oman
- Northern Arabian Sea
- Gulf of Aden
- Bab El Mandeb
Exercise increased caution when travelling by dhow (small sailboat), as they may not be up to Canadian safety standards.
General safety information
Cellular phone coverage may not be available in some parts of the country.
COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements
In an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory. While some countries have started to ease some of these measures, most remain in place.
Before travelling, verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any specific restrictions or requirements related to this situation. Consider even your transit points, as many destinations have implemented strict transit rules which could disrupt your travel.
These could include:
- entry bans, particularly for non-residents
- exit bans
- quarantines of 14 days or more upon arrival, some in designated facilities, at your own cost
- health screenings and certificates as well as proof of adequate travel health insurance
- travel authorization documents to be obtained before you travel
- border closures
- airport closures
- flight suspensions to/from certain destinations, and in some cases, all destinations
- suspensions or reductions of other international transportation options
Additional restrictions can be imposed suddenly. Airlines can also suspend or reduce flights without notice. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted, making it difficult for you to return home. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance related to changes to your travel plans.
- Monitor the media for the latest information
- Contact your airline or tour operator to determine if the situation will disrupt your travel plans
- Contact the nearest foreign diplomatic office for information on destination-specific restrictions
Foreign diplomatic offices in Canada – Global Affairs Canada
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from Bahraini authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Bahrain.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Canadians must have a visa to visit Bahrain.
Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
You should obtain a visa from the nearest Bahraini government office prior to arrival. Tourists can also obtain their visa online from Bahrain eVisas.
The Government of Bahrain has implemented measures restricting the entry of Qatari citizens and foreign residents of Qatar into Bahrain. These measures should not affect Canadians travelling to or transiting through Qatar. If you are a resident of Qatar, contact diplomatic representatives of Bahrain to confirm current entry requirements.
Travellers seeking to enter Saudi Arabia from Bahrain via the causeway are advised to check the terms of their Saudi visa before travelling. Some Saudi visas only allow for entry into the country by air, in which case entry from Bahrain via the causeway will not be permitted.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
- Pandemic COVID-19 all countries: avoid non-essential travel outside Canada - January 16, 2021
- Global Measles Notice - July 23, 2019
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional 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. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
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.
- 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.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* 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.
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 Western Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Western Asia. 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 children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Western Asia, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, Rift Valley fever, and West Nile virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. 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 some areas in Western Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
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.
Medical services and facilities
Adequate medical services are available in Bahrain. Immediate payment is required.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Travel health and safety
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 and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences, heavy fines, as well as the death penalty. The possession of even a very small amount of drugs can result in arrest and, if convicted, a four-year minimum prison term.
Alcohol is available for purchase by non-Muslims at special stores. However, Bahraini attitudes regarding alcohol are not favourable. Observe restrictions concerning the consumption of alcohol. Excessive drinking while in transit through a Bahraini airport could lead to detention and a fine.
Bahraini law does not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. However, the Bahraini government does not recognize same-sex marriage, and homosexuality is not widely socially accepted. LGBTQ2 travellers could face arrest under other charges, such as morality or public decency laws. LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Bahrain.
General safety information and advice for LGBTQ2 travellers abroad
In June 2017, when Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, it also announced that any expression of sympathy for Qatar on social media or by any other means of communication is an offence. Transgression could result in imprisonment or a fine.
You must carry photo identification. Under Bahraini law, failure to produce photo identification to an authority when asked is considered an offence and you may be fined. Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place, in case it’s lost or confiscated.
Do not take photographs of buildings or individuals without prior authorization.
Common-law unions are tolerated but not recognized. Extramarital relations are illegal.
Bahraini customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning the temporary import or export of certain items, including firearms, ammunition and other weapons, seditious literature and habit-forming drugs.
If you are involved in Bahraini court proceedings due to indebtedness, labour disagreement or other legal dispute, you may be prevented from leaving the country until your case is resolved.
Dress and behaviour
Bahrain’s customs, laws and regulations adhere closely to Islamic practices and beliefs. The work week is from Sunday to Thursday.
Religious proselytizing is not permitted.
You may be subject to heavy fines if you show disrespect toward officials by making verbal insults and obscene gestures.
- Avoid physical contact, such as holding hands with another adult, in public
- Dress conservatively
- Behave discreetly
- Respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities. For example, women should cover their arms and legs, and men should not wear shorts in public
During the lunar month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim calendar), use discretion when drinking, eating, and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset. In 2021, Ramadan is expected to begin on or around April 12.
Possession of pornographic material is forbidden.
Child custody decisions are based on Islamic law. It is extremely difficult for a Canadian woman, even if she is Muslim, to obtain custody of her children through a Bahraini court decision. Regardless of their parents’ marital status, minor children of a Bahraini father may not leave Bahrain without their father’s permission.
Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Bahrain.
If local authorities consider you a citizen of Bahrain, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.
General information for travellers with dual citizenship
There is a zero-tolerance policy regarding drinking and driving.
You must carry an international driving permit.
More about the International Driving Permit
The currency is the Bahraini dinar (BHD). Credit cards, traveller’s cheques, U.S. dollars and Saudi riyals are widely accepted. Automated banking machines are available.
Natural disasters and climate
Bahrain is subject to sand and dust storms, as well as periods of drought.
If there are injuries, call 999; if there are no injuries, call 199.
The Consulate of Canada in Manama is temporarily closed. The ability of Canadian officials to provide consular assistance in Bahrain is limited at this time. If you need consular assistance, contact the Embassy of Canada in Riyadh.
Riyadh - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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