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Travel Warning & Consular Information Sheet for Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda - Consular Information Sheet
September 14, 1999

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Antigua and Barbuda is a developing island nation. Tourism facilities are widely available.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A valid passport or certified birth certificate and picture identification, such as a drivers license, are required of U.S. citizens entering Antigua and Barbuda. A return ticket is sometimes requested. Immigration officials are strict about getting exact information about where visitors are staying. There is no fee for entering the country, but there is a $13 departure tax. For further information on entry requirements, travelers can contact the Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda, 3216 New Mexico Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016, telephone (202) 362-5122, or the consulates in Miami or New York.

CRIME INFORMATION: Violent crimes and armed assaults have been perpetrated against tourists. Petty street crime also occurs, and valuables left unattended on beaches are subject to theft.

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens can refer to the Department of State's pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. This publication and others, such as Tips for Travelers to the Caribbean are available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,

CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Antigua and Barbuda laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Antigua and Barbuda are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical care is limited. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars or more. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services, and U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States.

MEDICAL INSURANCE: Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas may face extreme difficulties. Check with your own insurance company to confirm whether your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical evacuation. Ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death. Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.

OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via their Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.

TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Antigua and Barbuda is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Safety of Public Transportation: fair
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: fair
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: fair

Driving in Antigua and Barbuda is on the left-hand side of the road, as in the United Kingdom. Roads are narrow and in poor condition. There is relatively little police enforcement of traffic regulations. The condition of the roads (in urban areas, fair to poor and in rural areas, poor) and the speed at which many persons drive lead to serious traffic accidents. The relative safety of public transportation is fair to poor. Buses and vans are frequently crowded and travel at excessive speeds. More detailed information on roads and traffic safety can be obtained from the Antigua Tourist Board, telephone (262) 462-0480, or the Director General of Tourism, telephone (262) 462-1005.

For specific information concerning Antigua and Barbuda driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Antigua and Barbuda National Tourist Organization offices in New York via the Internet at the Embassy website.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed Antigua and Barbuda’s Civil Aviation Authority as Category 2 --not in compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Antigua and Barbuda’s air carrier operations. While consultations to correct the deficiencies are ongoing, Antigua and Barbuda’s air carriers are permitted to conduct limited operations to the U.S. subject to heightened FAA surveillance. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA Internet website at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) does not permit its personnel to use carriers from Category 2 countries for official business except for flights originating from or terminating in the U.S. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact DOD at 618-229-4801.

CHILDREN’S ISSUES: For information on international adoption of children, international parental child abduction, and international child support enforcement issues, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html or telephone (202) 736-7000.

REGISTRATION/EMBASSY AND CONSULATE LOCATIONS: Americans living in or visiting Antigua and Barbuda are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados, which has jurisdiction over Antigua and Barbuda, and obtain updated information on travel and security in Antigua and Barbuda. The Consular Section is located in the American Life Insurance Company (ALICO)) Building, Cheapside, Bridgetown, Barbados, telephone (246) 431-0225 or FAX (246) 431-0179. The hours of operation are Monday-Friday, except local and U.S. holidays, 8:00am-4:00pm. U.S. citizens may also register with the U.S. Consular Agent in Antigua, whose address is Bluff House, Pigeon Point, English Harbour, telephone (268) 463-6531, FAX (268) 460-1569, or email (no caps) ryderj@candw.ag. The Consular Agent’s hours of operation are Monday-Friday, except local and U.S. holidays, 9:00am-4:00pm (please call for appointments).

This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated June 11, 1999.

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