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Travel Security Advice for Bermuda

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COUNTRY DESCRIPTION:

Bermuda is a highly developed British overseas territory with a stable democracy and modern economy.  Tourist facilities are widely available.. Read the Department of State’s Background Notes on Bermuda for additional information.

REGISTRATION/EMBASSY LOCATION:

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Bermuda 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.

American Consulate General Hamilton
16 Middle Road
Devonshire DV 03
Bermuda
Telephone: 1 441 295 1342
Emergency after-hours telephone: 1 441 335 3828
Facsimile: [1 441 295 1592

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS:

All persons traveling outside of the United States are required to present a passport book/card, or other valid travel documents to enter or re-enter the United States Travelers with questions concerning travel to Bermuda may contact the British Embassy in Washington DC or any one of the British Consulate Generals across the U.S. Visit the British Embassy website for the most current visa information.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Bermuda.  However, visitors with visible indicators of any communicable disease can be refused entry into Bermuda.

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

THREATS TO 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:

Bermuda has a moderate but growing crime rate.  Recent crime statistics can be viewed at the official website of the Bermuda Police Service.  Examples of common crimes include theft of unattended baggage and items from rental motorbikes, purse snatching (often perpetrated by thieves riding motor scooters), mugging and theft from hotel rooms.  Valuables left in hotel rooms (occupied and unoccupied) or left unattended in public areas are vulnerable to theft.  The Consulate occasionally receives reports of thefts of money and valuables and advises that travelers keep their hotel windows and doors locked at all times.  Criminals often target visitors on rental motorbikes and at popular tourist attractions.

Travelers should exercise caution when walking after dark or visiting out-of-the-way places on the island as they can be vulnerable to theft and sexual assault, and because narrow and dark roadways can contribute to accidents.  There have been reports of incidents of sexual assault and acquaintance rape; in the past, the use of “date rape” drugs such as Rohypnol has been reported in the media and confirmed by local authorities.

Travelers should also note an increase in gang presence in Bermuda and should take regular precautions to avoid confrontation; there have been no reports of gang violence targeted towards visitors to Bermuda.  The back streets of the city of Hamilton are often the setting for nighttime assaults, particularly after the bars close.
In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available.  Transactions involving such products may be illegal under local law.  In addition, bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines.

VICTIMS OF CRIME:

If you are the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate (see end of this sheet or see the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates).  This includes the loss or theft of a U.S. passport.  The embassy/consulate staff can, for example, help you find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds may be transferred.  Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime are 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 emergency line in Bermuda is 911.

Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.

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.  Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Persons violating Bermuda laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.  Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Bermuda are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES:

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against taking any type of firearm, ammunition or component of a firearm into Bermuda.  Entering Bermuda with a firearm, some kinds of knives or even a single round of ammunition or ammunition magazine is illegal, even if the weapon or ammunition is taken into the country unintentionally.  The Bermudian Government strictly enforces its laws restricting the entry of firearms and ammunition.  Permission to import or own a gun in Bermuda must be sought in advance from the Bermuda Police Service.  Any privately owned firearms must be secured at Bermuda Police Headquarters.  Violations may result in arrests, convictions and (potentially long) prison sentences.

MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION:

Good medical care is available, though extremely expensive.  The hospital performs general surgery and has an intensive care unit.  Serious or complex medical proglems will likely require medical evacuation to the United States.  Most Bermudian health care providers (including the local hospitals) do not accept overseas insurance  and will expect payment at the time of service.

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 U.S. citizens to consult their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to determine whether the policy applies overseas and whether it covers emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.  For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.

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.

Traffic in Bermuda moves on the left side of the road and the roads are very narrow, often with no defined shoulder.  The maximum speed in the city of Hamilton is 25 kph (15mph) and 35 kph (21 mph) on the rest of the island.  Under Bermudian law, non residents are not allowed to own, rent or drive four-wheeled vehicles.  Non residents must rely on taxis, the excellent, local bus system or motor scooters.  Traffic is moderately heavy; but road accidents – particularly involving motor scooters – are common and may result in serious injuries or death.

Rental motor scooters are readily available, and the required helmet is provided.  However, visitors should carefully consider whether or not it is worth the risk to ride a scooter.  Motor scooters provide the greatest road peril in Bermuda; local operators tend to abuse the speed limit and they will often pass on the left or right side with no warning.  Those unfamiliar with driving on the left side are likely to find the roundabouts and regulations for yielding at junctions confusing and dangerous.  In addition, vehicles often stop on the side of the road, blocking one lane of traffic.  Main roads, while generally in good condition, are extremely narrow and tend to be bordered by heavy vegetation or low stone walls.  Travelers who rent scooters should be aware that scooter accidents involving visitors are relatively common and they can be fatal or involve serious injuries.

Taxis are readily available.  The local bus system, which is excellent and relatively inexpensive, services the length of the island and stops close to most beaches, hotels, the downtown shopping area and other points of interest.  In addition, water ferry service to a variety of stops around the island is available seven days a week and is a very safe and enjoyable mode of transportation.

For Specific information concerning Bermuda’s drivers permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the Bermuda Department of Tourism offices at 310 Madison Avenue, Suite 201, New York, NY telephone (212)818 9800.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT:

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Grenada’s Civil Aviation Authority  as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Grenada’s air carrier operations.  For more information, travelers may visit the FAA website.

CHILDREN'S ISSUES:

Please see our Office of Children’s Issues web pages on intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction.

This replaces the Country Specific Information for Bermuda dated March 10, 2009 to update the sections on Crime and Special Circumstances.

 


The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office also has advice for Bermuda HERE.......

Looking for an Embassy ?, You can also check out our World Wide Embassy Listings Section HERE (For US Citizens) or HERE (For UK Citizens)........

Regards

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

 

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