This advice has been reviewed and reissued with amendments to the Summary and Natural Disasters. The overall level of the advice has not changed.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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).