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Dominica - AVOID ALL TRAVEL
Travel Health Notice - Zika virus
The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued advice for travellers on the Zika virus, recommending that Canadians practice special health precautions while travelling in affected countries. Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to Dominica. See Health for more information.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Petty crime, including theft from vehicles, occurs. Never leave your personal belongings unattended on the beach, in parked cars or in unsecured hotel rooms or rental apartments. Use your hotel safe to store your valuables and passport and other travel documents, but be sure it is bolted to the wall or the floor. Carry a photocopy of your passport’s identification page with you at all times.
Robberies and violent assaults have occurred near tourist facilities. Do not carry large amounts of cash or wear jewellery. Avoid unpatrolled beaches and unpopulated areas, especially after dark. Check with local authorities to determine which beaches are safe.
Crime increases during annual celebrations such as Carnival (February 2018) and the World Creole Music Festival in October.
Demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. They can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor local media.
Incidents of sexual assault occur. See Her own way - a woman’s safe-travel guide for travel safety information specifically for Canadian women.
Roads are narrow, steep and winding and have limited guardrails, traffic signs, lane markings and hazard warnings. Most roads outside the capital city, Roseau, are unlit. Avoid driving at night. Road conditions can deteriorate significantly during and after heavy rains. Roadside assistance is not widely available. Ensure you have a good road map and purchase sufficient vehicle insurance. In the event of an accident, call the police and do not move the vehicle. If renting a vehicle, opt for four-wheel-drive vehicles such as a jeep, given the terrain.
Minibuses and taxis are available. Only use licensed taxis. Agree to the fare in local currency with the driver before you set off, as taxis are not metered.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
Boiling Lake is a volcano-hydrothermal phenomenon located in Morne Trois Pitons National Park. Due to fluctuations in the water level and potent fumes emanating from the lake, the government of Dominica has temporarily closed the site to the public. Do not attempt to swim in the lake, as the water can return to its original boiling state with little or no warning, and small steam explosions may occur.
Recreational activities and excursions
Ensure that the recreational activities you choose are covered by your travel insurance and that sporting and aquatic equipment is safe and in good condition, especially for scuba diving. Ensure helmets and life jackets are available, if applicable. Avoid excursions that are not recommended by tour operators.
Exercise caution when swimming and seek information about water conditions such as strong currents, riptides and undertow. Take posted warnings about swimming conditions seriously and familiarize yourself with the beach flagging system. Some beaches are not supervised by lifeguards.
If you intend to hike:
- never hike alone;
- always hire an experienced guide and ensure that the tour operator company is reputable;
- ensure that you are in top physical condition;
- advise a family member or friend of your itinerary;
- register when entering national parks;
- know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal; and
- obtain detailed information on trekking routes before you set out.
It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the Consulate General of the Commonwealth of Dominica and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. It is your responsibility to check with the Consulate General of the Commonwealth of Dominica, 800 Second Avenue, Suite 400H, New York, NY 10017, tel.: 212-599-8478, fax: 212-661-0979, email: firstname.lastname@example.org for up-to-date information.
To visit Dominica, Canadians can show documents certifying proof of citizenship that also bear a photograph; however, you should travel with a valid passport, as it is required for your return trip to Canada. 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.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives 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.
Tourist visa: Not required for up to six months
Business visa: Not required
Student visa: Required
Other entry requirements
You must present proof of onward travel or a return ticket.
All Canadian citizens transiting the United States when travelling to and from Dominica by air must also comply with U.S. entry requirements.
You must pay an airport tax of approximately US$22 upon departure. The tax is usually included in the price of your ticket.
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, 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 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 - 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 provider.
- 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 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!
- 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.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher for children, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers 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.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. Recent or ongoing cases of Zika virus have been reported in this country.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites day and night.
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects such as abnormally small heads (microcephaly). Zika virus can also be sexually transmitted.
Travellers who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy:
- Should avoid travel to this country
- If travel cannot be avoided follow strict mosquito bite prevention measures.
- Talk to your health care professional about the risk of Zika infection in pregnancy.
- Use condoms or avoid having sex for the duration of the pregnancy, if you are pregnant and your partner has travelled to this country.
- Female travellers: wait at least 2 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive (get pregnant) to ensure that any possible Zika virus infection has cleared your body.
- Male travellers: wait 6 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive. Use condoms or avoid having sex during that time.
See travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
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
Medical care is limited in Dominica. Although there are hospitals and clinics located on the island, Princess Margaret Hospital in Roseau is the only hospital equipped to handle general surgery and emergency operations. Ambulance response times are quick throughout Dominica.
Medical expenses can be very costly, even for basic services, and immediate cash payment for medical treatment may be required. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and medical evacuation, if required. Consult Well on Your Way—A Canadian’s Guide to Healthy Travel Abroad for more information.
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
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
Possession of illegal drugs, including marijuana, may lead to large fines or imprisonment.
It is an offence for anyone, including children, to dress in army or camouflage clothing or to carry items made of camouflage material.
Customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning the import or export of certain items, including business equipment, food and beverages, paints, varnishes and other chemicals.
Traffic drives on the left.
To drive in Dominica, you must have a valid driver’s licence and obtain a Dominican driver’s permit, which can be purchased from one of the airports or car rental firms, or from the Traffic and Licensing Department on High Street, in Roseau.
The currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD). U.S. dollars are widely accepted.
Natural disasters and 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.
Hurricane Maria swept Dominica as a major hurricane on September 18, 2017, causing significant damage to buildings and infrastructures on the island. Transportation routes, power and telecommunications systems have been affected throughout the island. Emergency and medical care, and water and food supplies have also been severely affected. Do not travel to or through the affected regions.
See Assistance if you require emergency consular services.
Dominica is located in an active seismic zone.
Dial 999 for emergency assistance.
There is no resident Canadian government office in Dominica. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the High Commission of Canada in Bridgetown, Barbados.
Bridgetown - High Commission of Canada
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.
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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