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Travel Warning & Consular Information Sheet for Mauritius

Mauritius - Consular Information Sheet
January 30, 2001

COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: The Republic of Mauritius is an island nation in the southwestern Indian ocean, with a stable government and growing economy. Facilities for tourism are well developed. English, French, and Creole are spoken. The capital city is Port Louis.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A valid passport, onward/return ticket, and proof of sufficient funds are required. The airport departure tax is included in the price of a plane ticket. Travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy of Mauritius at suite 441, 4301 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 244-1491/2, or the Honorary Consulate in Los Angeles, telephone (310) 557-2009. Overseas inquiries may be made at the nearest Mauritian embassy or consulate.

SAFETY/SECURITY: U.S. citizens should avoid crowds and street demonstrations.

CRIME INFORMATION: Petty crime is a problem. It is unwise to walk alone at night outside the immediate grounds of hotels. There is a potential for pickpocketing at the central market in Port Louis.

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. The pamphlets, A Safe Trip Abroad and Tips for Travelers to Sub-Saharan Africa, provide useful information on personal security while traveling abroad and on travel in the region in general. Both 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/.

MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical facilities are available, but they are more limited than in the United States. Emergency assistance is limited. While public hospitals and clinics provide free care, visitors may choose to be treated by private doctors and hospitals.

MEDICAL INSURANCE: 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. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. 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, and for adequacy of coverage. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that 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 the CDC's 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 Mauritius is provided for general reference only, and it may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

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

In Mauritius, one drives on the left side of the street. Roads are sometimes narrow and uneven with inadequate lighting. Speed limits range from 30 to 50 miles an hour. Drivers and front seat passengers are required to wear seat belts. Drivers and passengers on motorcycles are required to wear helmets. There are no laws regarding child safety seats.

Drivers involved in an accident are required by law to remain at the scene until the police arrive. However, if an angry crowd gathers and those involved in the accident feel threatened, police and judicial authorities have in the past allowed them to leave the scene if they proceed directly to a police station. While there are organizations that provide emergency or roadside assistance, their capabilities are limited. Service Aide Medicale Urgence (SAMU) is a government organization that provides assistance to anyone who calls 114. (Address: Volcy Pougnet Street, Port Louis.) MegaCare is a private organization that provides assistance to subscribers only. (Address: 99 Draper Avenue, Quatre Bornes; phone: (230) 212-6270 or 42116)

Public transportation by bus is available between the main towns until 10:30 p.m. and in remote areas until 6:00 p.m. Taxis are also available.

For additional information about road safety, including links to foreign government sites, please see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For specific information concerning Mauritius driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority via the Internet at http://www.mauritius.net. For more information on Mauritius, please see the web site of American Embassy Port Louis at http://www.usembassymauritius.com.

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

For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the United States at telephone 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA's Internet web site 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 the DOD at telephone (618) 229-4801.

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 Mauritian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs in Mauritius are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences from 20 years to life.

IMPORT PROHIBITIONS: Spear-fishing equipment cannot be imported into Mauritius. All warm-blooded animals must undergo a minimum quarantine period of six months.

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

REGISTRATION/EMBASSY LOCATION: U.S. citizens living in or visiting Mauritius are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Mauritius and obtain updated information on travel and security within Mauritius. The U.S. Embassy in Mauritius is located at Rogers House (fourth floor) on John F. Kennedy Street in Port Louis, telephone (230) 208-2347 or 202-4400; facsimile (230) 208-9534. The U.S. Embassy's home page is located at http://www.usembassymauritius.com; e-mail address: usembass@intnet.mu.

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