Tonga Register Travel insurance Destinations
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TONGA - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Tonga.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Petty crime, including theft and house break-ins, occurs. Always lock doors and secure your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents. Be particularly cautious after dark.
Sexual assaults occur and foreigners have been targeted in the past. Women should avoid walking or jogging alone at night or in the early morning.
Demonstrations are rare but may occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They 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
Driving can be hazardous due to poor road conditions and lack of adequate lighting for night-time driving. Streets in Nuku’alofa and main roads on Tongatapu are paved, but most other roads are not.
Tour operators may not adhere to international standards. Regardless of the type of activity, ensure that you are using a reputable and well-established company.
Make sure your travel insurer covers your planned activity.
Rescue services may not be consistent with international standards.
Coastal waters can be dangerous. Follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities.
Learn more about water safety.
Ferry accidents can occur due to the overloading and poor maintenance of some vessels. Don’t board vessels that appear overloaded or unseaworthy.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General safety information
Basic tourist facilities and services are available in Nuku’alofa but limited elsewhere.
In an attempt to limit the spread of a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which originated in China, some governments have implemented special entry restrictions for their territory. Before travelling, verify if your destination’s local authorities have implemented any specific entry and exit restrictions related to this situation.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update – Public Health Agency of 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 the Tongan 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 Tonga.
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.
Tourist visas are issued upon arrival. All other visas must be obtained before 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.
If travelling with prescription drugs, carry a letter from your doctor explaining what the medication is for and how much you need to take. You must also carry a copy of the prescription.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
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 not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
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 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 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.
- In this country, dengue fever is a risk to travellers year-round. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue fever can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue fever changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. After a decline in reported dengue cases worldwide in 2017 and 2018, global numbers have been steeply rising again.
- 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 fever.
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.
- 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
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.
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 must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Illegal or restricted activities
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. 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.
Offences such as theft and sexual or physical assault may result in corporal punishment.
Dress and behaviour
To avoid offending local sensitivities:
- dress conservatively
- behave discreetly
- respect religious and social traditions
Tonga strictly observes the Sabbath. On Sundays, any recreational activities undertaken outside of island resorts may be seen as provocative. Use maximum discretion on Sundays.
The laws of Tonga prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Tonga.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Tonga.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Tonga, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
Traffic drives on the left.
You must have a valid visitor’s driver’s licence to drive in Tonga. You can obtain one from the Ministry of Transport in Nuku’alofa.
The currency of Tonga is the Tongan dollar or pa'anga (TOP). ATMs are available on Tongatapu, especially in Nuku’alofa. Foreign exchange service may be limited on other islands. You can exchange traveller’s cheques and foreign currency at major banks. Most major hotels, as well as some restaurants and stores, accept credit cards.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Monsoons and cyclones
Cyclones and monsoons are more likely to occur between June and December, but major storms have occurred outside this period. Severe storms can cause flooding and landslides, resulting in significant loss of life and extensive damage to infrastructure. They can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services. During a cyclone 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 days.
If you decide to travel to Tonga during cyclone 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
- More about hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and monsoons
- Weather reports - Fiji Meteorological Service
- Tonga Meteorological & Coast Radio Services
Tonga is prone to tsunamis. A tsunami can occur within minutes of a nearby earthquake. However, the risk of tsunami can remain for several hours following the first tremor. If you’re staying on the coast, familiarize yourself with the region’s evacuation plans in the event of a tsunami warning.
Avoid the affected area(s), keep informed of regional weather forecasts and follow the instructions of local authorities.
In case of emergency dial:
- police: 922
- medical assistance: 933
- firefighters: 999
There is no Canadian government office in Tonga. You can obtain consular assistance from the High Commission of Australia in Nuku’alofa.
Register with the Australian government to receive email updates on situations and events that could affect your safety while in Tonga.
Nuku'alofa - High Commission of Australia
Wellington - High Commission of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Australia in Nuku’alofa 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. 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, express 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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