International Travel and COVID-19

Before travelling:

If you have not completed a COVID-19 vaccine series, you should continue to avoid non-essential travel to all destinations.

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British Virgin Islands Travel Advice

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Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)

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Risk level

British Virgin Islands - Take normal security precautions

Take normal security precautions in the British Virgin Islands.

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Safety and security

COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions

COVID-19 preventative measures and restrictions are still in effect in some destinations.

These could include:

  • curfews, movement restrictions, or lockdowns
  • mandatory mask use
  • required proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test result to access public and private services and spaces

Before travelling, verify if specific restrictions or requirements are still in effect.

Foreign Representatives in Canada

Crime

The crime rate is low. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs.

  • Ensure that your belongings, including passports and other travel documents, are secure at all times
  • Don’t walk alone to deserted, unpatrolled beaches or poorly lit areas after dark
  • Consult local authorities to find out which beaches are safe

Don’t bring valuable to the beach

Water activities

Coastal waters can be dangerous. Follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities.

Water safety abroad

Road safety

Road conditions and road safety are generally good throughout the islands. Mountain roads may be steep and narrow.

Road signage is limited. Roaming livestock pose further hazards, especially at night.

Drivers are reckless, particularly at night. Roadside assistance is not widely available. If you plan to drive across the islands :

  • rent a four-wheel drive vehicle
  • carry a cellphone

Public transportation

Public transportation is available, but service is unreliable.

Buses

Bus services are available from the ferry dock to the most popular tourist areas on Tortola and Virgin Gorda islands. However, there is no official schedule or route. There is no government-managed public transportation

Taxis

Taxi service is reliable, but can be expensive. Prices are often based on the distance and the number of passengers.

Agree on a fare with the driver before departure to avoid being overcharged.

Ferries

Ferry services within the larger islands are available and frequent.

Ferry schedule – British Virgin Islands Tourism

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines

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Entry and exit requirements

COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements

Most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory due to COVID-19. These measures can be imposed suddenly and may include:

  • entry or exit bans
  • quarantine
  • mandatory proof of vaccination or COVID-19 testing
  • suspensions or reductions of international transportation options

Foreign authorities might not recognize or accept proof of vaccination issued by Canadian provinces and territories. You may need to obtain a translation, a notarization, an authentication, or the legalization of the document.

Before travelling:

  • verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any restrictions or requirements related to this situation
  • consider even your transit points, as there are transit rules in place in many destinations
  • monitor the media for the latest information
  • reconfirm the requirements with your airline or tour operator

The situation could disrupt your travel plans. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance to change your travel plans.

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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 the British authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Passport

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 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave from the British Virgin Islands.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

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 foreign representative for your destination.

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Other requirements

Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay.

Visas

Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 30 days
Business visa: Not required for stays up to 30 days
Student visa: Not required for stays up to 30 days

If you wish to stay longer than 30 days in the British Virgin Islands, you must obtain proper authorization from the Chief Immigration Officer.

Stays can be extended up to 6 months.

Immigration department – Government of the British Virgin Islands

Children and travel

Learn about travel with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.

Routine Vaccines

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.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines are right for you.  

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.

Risk

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.

* 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.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

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.

Measles

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.

COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

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.

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 cholerahepatitis Aschistosomiasis 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 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 of 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 the Caribbean, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunyadengue fevermalariaWest Nile virus and Zika virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Chikungunya

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.

Dengue
  • In this country, dengue is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue.
Zika virus

Zika virus is a risk in this country.

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.

Pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy should visit a health care professional before travelling to discuss the potential risks of travelling to this country. Pregnant women may choose to avoid or postpone travel to this country.

Travel recommendations:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • If you are pregnant, always use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact with anyone who has travelled to this country for the duration of your pregnancy.
  • Women: Wait 2 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy. If your male partner travelled with you, wait 3 months after travel or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer).
  • Men: Wait 3 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy.

For more travel recommendations, see the travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers

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 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

COVID-19 - Testing

Contact local health authorities, or the nearest Government of Canada office abroad to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test.


Medical facilities are adequate but limited. There is one public hospital and one private hospital on Tortola. Private medical clinics provide healthcare services on other islands of the archipelago.

Virgin Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR) provides first aid and transport to Tortola for individuals requiring emergency medical assistance.

Medical evacuation can be very expensive and you may need it in case of serious illness or injury.

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.

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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.

The British Virgin Islands are an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. However, it is a separate legal jurisdiction and has its own laws.

Canada and the United Kingdom are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in the United Kingdom to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and British authorities. This process can take a long time and there is no guarantee that the transfer will be approved by either or both sides.

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs, including cannabis, are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences or heavy fines.

The islands are sometimes used as a drug-trafficking hub between South and North America.

  • Pack all your luggage yourself
  • Avoid carrying any items that do not belong to you

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International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and the British Virgin Islands.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in the British Virgin Islands by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in the British Virgin Islands to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

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Fishing permits

You must obtain a fishing licence for commercial, sport and pleasure fishing.

It’s prohibited to fish in a marine park and forbidden to capture or remove any marine animal or coral.

If you plan a fishing trip with a chartered vessel, make sure the company or captain already has a permit.

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries – Government of the Virgin Islands

Imports and exports 

Customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation or exportation of items such as:

  • firearms
  • agricultural products
  • currency

You may also not be allowed to take from the island a number of marine and animal specimens.

Check with local authorities before buying or attempting to import or export such items.

Immigration Department – Government of the Virgin Islands

Driving

Traffic drives on the left.

If you are staying less than 30 days, you can use your Canadian driver’s licence. Otherwise, you must obtain a local temporary driving permit to drive in the British Virgin Islands.

You can obtain a permit at any car rental agency or from the Traffic Licensing Office. To do so, you will need to present a valid Canadian driver’s licence or an international driving permit.

More about the International Driving Permit

Money

The currency in the British Virgin Islands is the U.S. dollar (USD).

Major credit cards are accepted by most hotels, restaurants and shops. ATMs are widely available.

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Natural disasters and climate

Hurricane season

Hurricanes usually occur from mid-May to the end of November. During this period, even small tropical storms can quickly develop into major hurricanes.

These severe storms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services.

If you decide to travel to a coastal area during the hurricane season:

  • know that you expose yourself to serious safety risks
  • be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
  • stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
  • carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
  • follow the advice and instructions of local authorities

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services
  • Dial 999 for emergency assistance.
  • Dial 911 from land lines
  • For marine emergency, call VISAR at 767

Consular assistance

Due to the ongoing pandemic, our consular services could be limited. Contact us by email or telephone before visiting our offices.

There is no Canadian government office in the British Virgin Islands.

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.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-BarbadosServicesPassport Services AvailableFacebookHigh Commission of Canada in BarbadosTwitter@CanHCBarbadosOther social mediaHigh Commission of Canada to Barbados and the OECS
Consular district

Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Sint Maarten.

For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Bridgetown, Barbados, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

Disclaimer

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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