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Still Current at: 29 August 2006
Updated: 5 June 2006

Flag of Barbados
Barbados
 
This advice has been reviewed and reissued with amendments to the Summary and Natural Disasters.  The overall level of the advice has not changed.

SUMMARY

  • Security and personal safety are generally not a problem, but do not be complacent.  Cases of robbery, personal attacks on tourists and other crimes do occur.  You are advised to be vigilant at all times.

  • Most visits to Barbados are trouble-free.  The main type of incident for which British nationals require consular assistance is for lost and stolen passports.

  • The threat from terrorism is low.  But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.

  • The hurricane season in Barbados normally runs from June to November.  Please see the Natural Disasters section of this Travel Advice and Hurricanes for more information.

  • We strongly recommend you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see: Travel Insurance.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

Terrorism

The threat from terrorism is low.  But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.  Please read “Security and General Tips” and “Risk of Terrorism when Travelling Overseas” pages for further information and advice.

Crime

Over one million tourists visited Barbados last year and most visits were trouble-free.  However, petty theft and street crime does take place.  Personal attacks and rapes of foreigners do occur.  You are advised to remain vigilant at all times.  Maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as in the UK.  This should include ensuring that your living accommodation is totally secure.  Avoid isolated areas, including beaches, after dark.  Do not carry large amounts of cash or jewellery.  Valuables and travel documents should be left, where possible, in safety deposit boxes and hotel safes.

Road Safety

Motorists drive on the left in Barbados.  There is a high incidence of road accidents, including fatalities, for the size of the island.  Most roads are paved but, with the exception of the main highways, many have potholes.  In rural areas they are narrow, usually unlit and often have obscured side roads and blind corners.  Road surfaces lack grip and become very slippery when wet.  Speed limits are posted in kilometres per hour (40, 60 and 80 kph maximum) and are lower than the UK.  Road signs are poor.  Vehicle directional indicators are used intermittently; exercise caution, particularly on roundabouts.  Pedestrians walk on the roads because of a lack of pavements.  In the event of an accident, leave your vehicle where it comes to rest and call the police.

Standard taxi fares exist for some destinations but not all.  It is sensible to clarify the fare in Barbados dollars with the driver before beginning the journey.  You can often pay in US Dollars (fixed exchange rate $2 Barbados Dollars = $1 US Dollar) as well as Barbados Dollars.

LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS

You should note that there are severe penalties for all drug offences.  Pack all luggage yourself and do not carry anything through customs for anyone else.
 
You should be aware that it is an offence for anyone, including children, to dress in camouflage clothing.
 
Although not illegal, topless bathing is frowned upon.
 
Certain homosexual acts are illegal under Barbadian laws.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

UK passport holders do not need visas to enter Barbados for visits up to 6 months.  But you are normally only granted 28 days entry on arrival.  You should note that overstaying without permission from the authorities is an offence, as is taking any form of employment without a work permit.  Visa extensions and work permits must be applied for at the Immigration Department, Careenage House, The Wharf, Bridgetown.
 
You are banned from bringing meat products into Barbados from the United Kingdom in your personal luggage.
 
Entry requirements may change from time to time and should be checked with the Barbados High Commission in London.

HEALTH

We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  This should cover medical evacuation by air ambulance.  Medical treatment can be very expensive, with very serious cases and those requiring specialist treatment being transferred overseas (usually to USA) and incurring air ambulance costs.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see: Travel Insurance

The dengue fever mosquito is found throughout Barbados.  There has been an increase in recorded cases.  You should take normal precautions against mosquito bites, including using insect repellent during daylight hours and after sunset.

You should be aware of the high prevalence of the HIV and AIDS virus and take precautions to avoid exposure to it.

For further information on health, check the Department of Health’s website at: www.dh.gov.uk.

NATURAL DISASTERS

The hurricane season in Barbados normally runs from June to November.  You should monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation.  You can also access the National Hurricane Centre for updates.  Please also see Hurricanes for more detailed information about what to do if you are caught up in a hurricane.

GENERAL

If things go wrong when overseas, please see:  What We Can Do To Help

Keep a copy of the photopage of your passport and relevant entry stamp in case your documents are stolen.

We strongly recommend that all travellers abroad take out adequate comprehensive insurance covering theft and unexpected losses or expenses (eg stolen bank/credit cards and cash, lost luggage, cancelled/missed flights).

If you are on a package holiday, you must travel on the specified return date.  If you fail to do so, you will have to pay the additional costs of accommodation and a replacement air ticket.

You will have to pay a departure tax when leaving Barbados.  In February 2006, this departure tax amounted to 25 Barbados Dollars (for each traveller aged 12 years or older).


CONTACT DETAILS

Address:
 
British High Commission
Lower Collymore Rock
PO Box 676
Bridgetown

Telephone:
 
(1) (246) 430 7800

Facsimile:
 
(1) (246) 430 7851 Chancery
(1) (246) 430 7860 Management/Consular
(1) (246) 430 7826 Trade & Investment/Information

Email:
 
britishhcb@sunbeach.net

Office Hours:
 
Mon-Thurs: 1200-2000;Fri: 1200-1700 GMT
Mon-Thurs: 0800-1600; Fri: 0800-1300 Local Time

Website:
  www.britishhighcommission.gov.uk/barbados


See Also:
  UK Overseas Mission: Barbados
 
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AIRPORT SECURITY WARNING
On 14 August, the Department for Transport announced revised airport security measures which came into immediate effect. See: Department for Transport statement

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GLOBAL TERRORISM WARNING
You should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks in public places anywhere in the world. Be vigilant, and take sensible precautions. See Risk of Terrorism.

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Avian & Pandemic Flu
Find more information and advice on Avian & Pandemic Flu.

Know Before You Go
The FCO strongly recommends that all travellers abroad take out comprehensive insurance.

NB: While every care has been taken in preparing our travel advice, neither Her Majesty's Government nor any member of British consular staff abroad can accept liability for injury, loss or damage arising in any respect of any statement contained therein.

LATEST TRAVEL UPDATES

Norway (29/08/06)
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Germany (29/08/06)
Estonia (29/08/06)
Netherlands (29/08/06)
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Iceland (29/08/06)
Ireland (29/08/06)
Italy (29/08/06)
Switzerland (29/08/06)
Romania (29/08/06)
Saint Lucia (29/08/06)

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