Turks and Caicos Islands
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Turks and Caicos Islands - AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL
Global Affairs Canada advises against non-essential travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands, due to the damage caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. See Natural disasters and climate and Hurricanes Irma and Maria for more information.
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 the Turks and Caicos Islands. See Health for more information.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Petty crime occurs, including theft from rental vehicles. Muggings and armed assaults also occur, mostly in areas popular with tourists. You should be especially vigilant on Providenciales, which has a higher crime rate than the other islands. Armed invasions of private villas with inadequate security are a concern and have increased since December 2016; the victims were also assaulted. If you find yourself the victim of an armed robbery, you should comply with the perpetrator’s demands without resistance to avoid injury. Stay in busy, reputable and well-protected accommodation and keep the doors locked at all times. Always verify the identity of a visitor before opening the door. Use the hotel safe for storage of valuables and travel documents, as thefts from unoccupied hotel and resort rooms and villas can also occur.
Never leave valuables such as money, credit cards and personal electronics unattended, especially on beaches and in vehicles. Do not carry large amounts of cash, and use caution when using automated banking machines (ABMs), especially after dusk.
Avoid secluded, isolated areas, such as roads, parks and beaches, after dark.
If you plan to explore remote areas of the islands, such as for bird watching, diving or snorkelling, inform friends, relatives or hotel management of your destination, whether you will be companied and the time of your expected return. Excursions should be undertaken in groups, preferably with experienced tour operators.
Ensure that beach and aquatic equipment is safe and in good condition, and that helmets and life jackets are available. Check ahead of time that your travel insurance covers accidents related to recreational activities.
Spiked food and drinks
Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as the items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault or robbery.
Main roads are generally in good condition. Be careful when driving after dark or on secondary roads, since unpaved surfaces, potholes, blind intersections and roaming animals may pose risks. Driving can be hazardous on Providenciales due to reckless driving and excessive speeding. Be prepared to stop suddenly. Traffic accidents throughout the islands are on the increase and are often fatal.
There is no public transportation available on the Turks and Caicos Islands but taxis (many of which are transportation vans) are readily available. Only used licensed taxis. Fares should be determined in advance.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
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 British authorities 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 British High Commission or one of its consulates for up-to-date information.
Canadians must present a valid passport to visit the Turks and Caicos Islands. 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.
You must also be in possession of a return ticket.
Canadian citizens transiting the United States when travelling to and from Turks and Caicos by air must comply with U.S. requirements. For more detailed information, please see the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.
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 stays up to 90 days
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
Work permit: Required
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 not required to enter this country.
- 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.
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 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
Public and private medical facilities and equipment are adequate. Providenciales has several private general practitioners and all the other islands have public clinics. There are hospital facilities on Providenciales and Grand Turk, both operated by the Canadian company Interhealth Canada. Serious cases require medical evacuation to Miami, Florida, for treatment. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and medical evacuation. Contact your insurance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment. Consult Well on Your Way—A Canadian’s Guide to Healthy Travel Abroad for more information.
Ambulance response times are slower than in Canada.
There is a decompression chamber located on Providenciales.
Canadians with prescription medications are responsible for determining whether the medication is prohibited on the Turks and Caicos Islands. If you take prescription medication, bring along an adequate supply and a copy of the doctor’s prescription. Medications should be kept in the original container and packed in carry-on luggage.
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.
The Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory. Canada and the United Kingdom are signatories to the European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, which 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.
Traffic drives on the left.
A valid Canadian driver’s licence is required to rent a vehicle. Liability insurance is mandatory. An International Driving Permit is recommended. You must obtain a local licence from the Road Safety Department if you have been on the island for more than one month. It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
Prior permission by the Commissioner of Police is required to import firearms. Consult the Turks and Caicos Customs Department for specific information.
If planning to marry in the Turks and Caicos Islands, ensure that you meet all requirements and have all necessary documents before leaving Canada. Most countries require a certificate stating that there are no Canadian impediments to your marriage. Consult Marriage overseas for more information.
If you are interested in purchasing property or making other investments in the Turks and Caicos Islands, seek legal advice from appropriate professionals in Canada and in the Turks and Caicos Islands before making commitments. Disputes arising from such activities could be prolonged and costly to resolve.
The currency is the U.S. dollar (USD). Many hotels, restaurants and shops accept credit cards. ABMs are located throughout Providenciales, while other islands may only have one ABM.
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.
Hurricanes Irma and Maria
Hurricanes Irma and Maria swept the Turks and Caicos Islands as major hurricanes on September 7 and 22, 2017 respectively, causing significant damage to buildings and infrastructures on some islands. Transportation routes, power distribution and telecommunications systems, were heavily damaged, but are gradually being restored. Emergency services and medical care, and water and food supplies could still be affected.
Monitor local news, follow the instructions of local authorities and contact your travel agent or tour operator to determine whether the situation will disrupt travel arrangements.
Dial 911 / 999 for emergency assistance.
There is no resident Canadian government office in the Turks and Caicos Islands. You can obtain consular assistance and further information from the High Commission of Canada in Kingston, Jamaica.
Kingston - High Commission of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Kingston, Jamaica, 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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