Virgin Islands (U.S.)

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Risk level(s)

Risk level(s)

U.S. Virgin Islands - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in the U.S. Virgin Islands due to damage caused by Hurricanes Maria and Irma. See Natural disasters and climate 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 U.S. Virgin Islands. See Health for more information.

Safety and security

Safety and security

Crime

Petty crime occurs. Never leave your personal belongings unattended on the beach or in parked cars. Use your hotel safe to store your valuables and passport and other travel documents. Carry a photocopy of your passport’s identification page with you at all times.

Stay in hotels and resorts with good security. Know who is at your door before opening it.

Avoid isolated beaches and unpopulated areas, especially after dark. 

Women’s safety

Incidents of sexual assault occur.

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.

Safe-travel guide for women

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 and jet skiing. Use helmets and life jackets, if applicable. Avoid excursions that are not recommended by tour operators.

Public transportation

There is reliable public bus service on the islands.

Open-air “safari cabs” and taxis (usually SUV minivans) are common on the islands of St. Thomas and St. John. Confirm the taxi fare with the driver before departing.

Car rentals are available. Avoid renting scooters on any of the islands; accidents are common and often deadly.

There are passenger ferries between St. John and St. Thomas, as well as inter-island barges for transporting cars.

Car rentals in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Air travel

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

General information about foreign domestic airlines

Entry/exit requirements

Entry/exit requirements

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.

The U.S. Virgin Islands are a territory of the United States (U.S.).

Confirm entry/exit requirements prior to travelling:

Health

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

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.

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

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.

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.

Measles

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.

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

Yellow Fever Vaccination

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.

* 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.
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.
Food/Water

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

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among pediatric travellers, 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 professional about vaccination.


Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in the Caribbean, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, dengue fever, malariaWest 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 fever
  • 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.

Travel recommendations:

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
 


Malaria

Malaria

There is no risk of malaria in this country.


Animals

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

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

Medical facilities are generally good. There are a few hospitals and clinics throughout the islands. Serious cases involving critical care may require medical evacuation to mainland United States for treatment. Be aware that medical evacuations can be extremely expensive.

Some clinics and hospitals may expect immediate cash payment for medical services. Contact your insurance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

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

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.

Driving

Traffic drives on the left.

A valid Canadian driver’s licence is required to drive in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in the United States.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of the United States, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.

General information for travellers with dual citizenship

Money

The currency of the U.S. Virgin Islands is the U.S. dollar. Automated banking machines can be found throughout all three islands. Most establishments accept credit cards and travellers’ cheques.

Natural disasters and climate

Natural disasters & 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

Useful links

Aftermath of the 2017 hurricane season

Major hurricanes Irma and Maria passed through the U.S. Virgin Islands on September 6 and 20, 2017, respectively. Recovery efforts are underway, and the situation has significantly improved on St. Croix and St. Thomas. There are still some disruptions, however, to the following essential services:

  • transportation
  • power distribution
  • water and food supply
  • telecommunications networks
  • emergency assistance
  • medical care

A precautionary boil water advisory is in effect for the islands.

Be particularly cautious if travelling to the affected areas. Contact your travel agent to determine whether the situation could disrupt travel plans.

Assistance

Assistance

Local services

Emergency services

Dial 911 for emergency assistance.

Consular assistance

There is no resident Canadian government office in the Virgin Islands. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the Consulate General of Canada in Miami, United States.

Miami - Consulate General of Canada
Street Address200 South Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 1600, Miami, Florida, U.S.A., 33131Telephone1-844-880-6519Fax(305) 374-6774Emailccs.scc@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.canada.ca/Canada-In-MiamiFacebookConsulate General of Canada in MiamiTwitter@CanCGMiamiConsular districtFlorida, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands

For emergency consular assistance, call the Consulate General of Canada in Miami and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

You may also make a toll-free call to the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at 1-866-600-0184.


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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