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Travel Security Advice for Antigua & Barbuda

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COUNTRY DESCRIPTION:

Antigua and Barbuda is a dual island nation known for its beaches and is a favorite destination for yachtsmen. Tourist facilities are widely available, and English is the primary language. Banking facilities and ATMs are available throughout the island. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Antigua and Barbuda for additional information.

REGISTRATION / EMBASSY LOCATION:

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Antigua and Barbuda are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate at the Department of State's travel registration page in order to obtain updated information on local travel and security. U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Registration is important; it allows the State Department to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency.

Local embassy information is available below and at the Department of State's list of embassies and consulates.

Antigua and Barbuda are covered by the U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados, which is in located in the Wildey Business Park in suburban Wildey, southeast of downtown Bridgetown. The Consular Section can be reached by telephone at 246-227-4193, by fax at 246-431-0179, or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . After hours the Embassy Duty Officer can be reached by calling (246) 227-4000. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday, except local and U.S. holidays.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a Consular Agency in Antigua, located at Suite #2 Jasmine Court, Friars Hill Road, St. John's. The phone number is 268-463-6531, and the Consular Agent can also be reached via cell phone at 268-726-6531. The Agent can assist with routine American Citizens Services and with American citizen emergencies taking place in Antigua and Barbuda.

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS:

The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 requires all travelers to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada to have a valid passport to enter or re-enter the United States. U.S. citizens must have a valid U.S. passport if traveling by air, including to and from Mexico. If traveling by sea, U.S. citizens can use a passport or passport card. We strongly encourage all American citizen travelers to apply for a U.S. passport or passport card well in advance of anticipated travel. American citizens can visit travel.state.gov or call 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778) for information on how to apply for their passports.

Immigration officials are strict about getting exact information about where visitors are staying and will often request to see a return ticket or ticket for onward travel, as well as proof of sufficient funds to cover the cost of the visitor's intended stay. There is a departure tax required upon departing the country. See our Foreign Entry Requirements brochure for more information on Antigua and Barbuda and other countries. 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 their consulate in Miami. Additional information may be found on the Internet on the home page of the Antigua and Barbuda Department of Tourism.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our web site. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.

SAFETY AND SECURITY:

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs' website, which contains current the Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.

Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the U.S. and Canada, or by calling a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas. For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State's extensive tips and advice on traveling safely abroad.

CRIME:

Violent crime does occur, including at hotels and main tourist venues, and visitors should take precautions to ensure their safety. In 2009 alone, three tourists were murdered in Antigua - a British couple on their honeymoon and an Australian yacht captain. Armed robbery and street crime also occur, and valuables left unattended on beaches, in rental cars or in hotel rooms are vulnerable to theft. Visitors to Antigua and Barbuda are advised to be alert and maintain the same level of personal security used when visiting major U.S. cities.

Be especially vigilant when taking taxis in Antigua and Barbuda. Make certain that the taxi driver is licensed and is a member of the official taxi association. Unlicensed taxi operators have been known to extort money from passengers, despite having agreed to a fare beforehand. This can sometimes amount to double or triple the agreed-upon fare.

INFORMATION FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME:

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. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds can be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney, if needed.

The local equivalent to the "911" emergency line in Antigua and Barbuda is: 911.

MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION:

There are many qualified doctors in Antigua and Barbuda, but medical facilities are limited to one public hospital and two private clinics. They do not meet U.S. standards. The principal medical facility on Antigua is Holberton Hospital, on Hospital Road, St. John's (telephone (268) 462-0251). There is no hyperbaric chamber; divers requiring treatment for decompression illness must be evacuated from the island to either Saba or Guadeloupe. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars. 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.

HIV/AIDS entry restrictions may exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Antigua and Barbuda. Please verify the requirements with the Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda before you travel.

For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the infectious diseases section of the World Health Organization (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.

MEDICAL INSURANCE:

The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. Please see our information on medical insurance overseas.

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.

Traffic in Antigua and Barbuda moves on the left. Major roads are in average to poor condition, and drivers may encounter wandering animals and slow moving heavy equipment. Drivers often stop in the middle of the roadway without warning, so you should always maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you and watch for signs of sudden braking. There is relatively little police enforcement of traffic regulations. Buses and vans are frequently crowded and may travel at excessive speeds. Automobiles may lack working safety and signaling devices, such as brake lights.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. For specific information concerning Antigua and Barbuda driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Antigua and Barbuda national tourist organization offices in New York via e-mail.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT:

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Antigua and Barbuda's Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Antigua and Barbuda's air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA's safety assessment page.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES:

Like all Caribbean countries, Antigua can be affected by hurricanes. The hurricane season normally runs from early June to the end of November, but there have also been hurricanes in December in recent years. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Antiguan law prohibits same-sex marriage, and even the impression that a same-sex marriage is taking place can be construed as a violation of that law. Visitors are warned against holding any type of ceremony or event that could appear to be a same-sex marriage. American citizens have been arrested by the Antiguan police for this type of activity in the recent past.

Please see our Customs Information.

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 severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States. Please see our information on Criminal Penalties.

The justice system moves slowly in Antigua and Barbuda, and the police force is currently undergoing an overhaul due to  corruption and ineffectiveness uncovered in a 2008 government-funded official inquiry. In mid-2008 a former Canadian police officer was appointed as police commissioner with the mandate of modernizing the 550-strong police force.

CHILDREN'S ISSUES:

For information see our Office of Children's Issues web pages on intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction.

This replaces the Country Specific Information for Antigua and Barbuda dated February 13, 2009 to update sections on Traffic Safety and Road Conditions, Special Circumstances, and Registration/Embassy Location.

 


 

You can also check out the Travel advice for this Country from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website HERE

Or CDC's advice for this Country HERE...

Need to find an Embassy ?, Check out our Embassy Listings Section HERE (For US Citizens) or HERE (For UK Citizens)......

Regards

The SW Team..............

 

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