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Travel Warning & Consular Information Sheet for Barbados

Barbados - Consular Information Sheet
September 14, 1999

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Barbados has a moderately developed economy. Facilities for tourism are widely available. The capital is Bridgetown. The U.S. Embassy in Barbados also has responsibility for U.S. citizens in the independent countries of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, as well as the British dependent territories of Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Montserrat, and several French islands (Martinique, Guadeloupe, and their dependencies).

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: U.S. citizens may enter Barbados for up to 28 days without a valid passport, but must carry original documentation proving U.S. citizenship (i.e. valid or expired U.S. passport, certified U.S. birth certificate, or Consular Report of Birth, or Certificate of Naturalization, or Certificate of Citizenship), and a photo identification and an onward or return ticket. U.S. citizen visitors who enter Barbados without these items, even if admitted by immigration authorities, may encounter difficulties in boarding flights for return to the United States. For further information, travelers may contact the Embassy of Barbados, 2144 Wyoming Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 939-9200, Internet e-mail: barbados@oas.org; or the consulates of Barbados in Los Angeles, Miami or New York.

CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Barbados customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary import and export of items such as firearms and agricultural products. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Barbados in Washington, D.C. or one of Barbados’ consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.

CRIME INFORMATION: Crime in Bridgetown is characterized by petty theft and street crime, but the incidence of violent crime appears to be on the rise. Valuables left in plain sight inside vehicles make tempting targets for criminals. Automobile theft also occurs with some frequency.

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, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.

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 Barbados laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Barbados are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical care is generally good. 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. Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical evacuation. Please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses. 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 Barbados is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance. Driving in Barbados is on the left-hand side of the road.

Safety of Public Transportation: Good
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Fair

Taxis and buses are generally safe. Buses and vans are often crowded and tend to travel at high rates of speed. Night driving should be done with much caution because of narrow roads with no shoulders and because of pedestrian/bicycle traffic.

For specific information concerning Barbados driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the Barbados National Tourist Organization offices in New York at 1 (800) 221-9831 or via the Internet at e-mail address: gcny@barbados.org.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial service at present between the United States and Barbados, nor economic authority to operate such service, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Barbados’ Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Barbados air carrier operations.

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) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. 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: U.S. citizens living in or visiting Barbados are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Barbados and obtain updated information on travel and security within Barbados. The U.S. Embassy is located in Bridgetown at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) Building on Broad Street, telephone (246) 436-4950. The Consular Section is located in the American Life Insurance Company (ALICO) Building, Cheapside, telephone (246) 431-0225 or fax (246) 431-0179. The hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, except local and U.S. holidays. There are separate Consular Information Sheets for Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, British West Indies (including Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Montserrat), and French West Indies (including Guadeloupe, Martinique and French St. Martin). U.S. citizens may call the Consular Section to obtain updated information on travel and security in these areas.

This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated June 24, 1999.

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