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Travel Security Advice for Grenada

Grenadian_National_Flag

grenada_mapGrenada_Overview


COUNTRY DESCRIPTION:

Grenada is a developing Caribbean island nation.  The capital is St. George’s. Tourism facilities vary, according to price and area. Read the Department of State’s Background Notes for additional information.

REGISTRATION/EMBASSY LOCATION:

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Grenada 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 within Grenada.  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.

The U.S. Embassy is located on the main road to L’Anse aux Epines after the Christian Scientist Church, and is approximately 15 minutes from the Point Salines International Airport.  Telephone: 1-(473) 444-1173/4/5; fax: 1-(473) 444-4820. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Embassy Grenada’s consulate’s hours are 8:00 am to 12:30 pm by appointment, Monday to Friday except local and American holidays.

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS:

All Americans traveling by air outside of the United States are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter the United States.  This requirement will be extended to sea travel (except closed-loop cruises), including ferry service, on June 1, 2009.  Until then, U.S. citizens traveling by sea may present government-issued photo identification and a document showing their U.S. citizenship (for example, a birth certificate or certificate of nationalization).  Starting June 1, 2009, all travelers must present a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document such as a passport or a passport card for entry to the United States.  While passport cards and enhanced driver’s licenses are sufficient for entry into the United States, they may not be accepted by the particular country you plan to visit; please be sure to check with your cruise line and countries of destination for any foreign entry requirements.

For additional information concerning entry/exit requirements, travelers may This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , 1701 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC  20009, telephone: (202) 265-2561, fax: (202) 265-2468, or the Consulate of Grenada in New York. Sea travelers must have a valid U.S. passport (or other original proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a certified U.S. birth certificate with a government-issued photo ID).

There is no visa requirement for stays up to three months. However, now that the United States requires a passport to re-enter, Grenadian immigration authorities have been more closely scrutinizing the documentation of arriving American citizens and may deny entry for insufficient documentation of citizenship. There is an airport departure fee of US$20 for adults and US$10 for children between the ages of five and twelve.

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

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Grenada.

THREATS TO SAFETY AND SECURITY:

Many parts of Grenada have no sidewalks and few streetlights, forcing pedestrians to walk in the road.  Visitors should take care if walking along the road after dark and wear light, reflective clothing. For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website, where the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts, as well as the Worldwide Caution, can be found.

Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada or, for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  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:

Crime in Grenada is mostly opportunistic.  Tourists have been the victims of robbery, especially in isolated areas, and thieves frequently steal credit cards, jewelry, cameras, U.S. passports and money.  Muggings, purse snatchings and other robberies may occur in areas near hotels, beaches and restaurants, particularly after dark.  Recently, the St. George’s main market square and the Grand Anse area known as Wall Street have experienced decreases in crime since the vendors have been working as a team and now have employed security in the area.

Visitors should exercise appropriate caution when walking after dark or when using the local bus system or taxis hired on the road.  It is advisable to hire taxis to and from restaurants and to ask whether the driver is a member of the Grenada Taxi Association (GTA). Members of the GTA are required to pass additional driving tests and receive training from the Grenada Tourism Board. They are generally reliable and knowledgeable about the country and its attractions.

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 equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Grenada 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.   Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Grenada are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. A person can be prosecuted for using foul language in the presence of an officer of the law.  The police began cracking down in 2008 on inappropriate dress (indecent exposure), including baggy pants with the belt below the waist and beach attire on the street.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES:

Since 2007, the local air carrier, LIAT, has significantly reduced flights into and out of Grenada.  Travelers coming into the region from the U.S. and elsewhere should verify in advance directly with LIAT that they have a valid reservation.  The sharp increase in oil prices in 2008 resulted in steeply higher airline ticket prices, impacting especially inter-island travel dominated by LIAT.  Ticket prices have not fallen as quickly as fuel prices have.  From October a company ‘Bedy Oceanlines’, will ply daily routes to Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada making travel between the islands more affordable. Hotels may now legally include a surcharge for fuel costs on their bills, and at least one hotel is adding the surcharge.

Grenada experiences tropical storms and hurricanes during the hurricane season, from June through November.  Sea surges occasionally flood low lying areas, including parts of downtown St. George’s and Hillsborough on the island of Carriacou. Heavy winds periodically close local beaches to swimming. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Travel from Grenada to Carriacou is possible by sea and by air. Petite Martinique can only be reached by sea.  The Osprey ferry service, with two boats, travels every day between the three islands and is reliable with a good safety record. The trip takes about 1 ½ hours in the large boat and 2 hours in the smaller one.  SVG Airline flies a small propeller plane (4-6 passengers) to Carriacou and back daily.  Small boat owners may offer to take tourists to the other islands.  Before accepting, travelers should check to be sure that the boat carries life preservers and a radio.  Though now required, many small boats do not carry this equipment.

Grenada has several qualified dive operations.  Travelers should check with the Grenada Tourism Board at 473-444-4140 or their hotels for further information.  There is no hyperbaric chamber in Grenada.

It is difficult to cash personal U.S. checks in Grenada.  If accepted, they will take approximately six weeks to clear by a local bank. Major credit cards are widely accepted, and ATM facilities are available at most banks.  Most hotels and restaurants take U.S. currency; however, change will be in local currency.
Please see our
Customs Information.

MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION:

Medical care is limited.  U.S. citizens requiring medical treatment may contact the U.S Embassy in St. George’s for a list of local doctors, dentists, pharmacies and hospitals.  Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the U.S. can cost thousands of dollars.  Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.  Pharmacies are usually well stocked and prescription medicine is available.  They periodically suffer shortages when deliveries from abroad are delayed though most pharmacies will check with others in the area to see if they can get what is needed.  Travelers are advised to bring with them sufficient prescription medicine for the length of their stay.  Grenada chlorinates its water, making it generally safe to drink.  However, during especially heavy rains, quality control can slip, particularly in the city of St. George’s.  It is recommended that visitors to Grenada request bottled water, which is widely available and relatively inexpensive.  Ambulance service is available but response times vary greatly.

Malaria is not found in Grenada, but there are low levels of dengue fever.  The government periodically fogs public areas to reduce the mosquito population.

For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) website Further health information for travelers is available from the WHO.

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 Grenada is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Traffic moves on the left in Grenada; the majority of vehicles are right-hand drive. Grenada’s roads, paved and unpaved, are mostly narrow and winding, with many blind corners, narrow or no shoulders, and steep drops into the many ravines found on Grenada’s three islands.  There are few sidewalks, and cars vie with pedestrians for road space. Road lighting varies on all three islands, which compounds the dangers at night. Road surfaces often deteriorate, especially during the rainy season (June–November) before maintenance work begins.   Driving conditions in Grenada, including road conditions, increasing numbers of vehicles, and sometimes undisciplined minibus drivers all require caution and reduced speed for safety.  The Government of Grenada has a seat belt law; drivers and passengers found not wearing seat belts are subject to a fine of EC$1,000 (US$400).  Getting a local temporary driver’s license, based on a valid U.S. driver’s license plus EC$30 (US$12), is highly recommended.  In the event of an accident, not having a valid local driver’s license may result in a fine, regardless of who is at fault.   Rental vehicle companies are available; most of them will assist in applying for temporary driver’s licenses.  The adequacy of road signage varies, but is generally poor to nonexistent.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.  Also, visit the Grenada Board of Tourism website.

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:

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 Grenada dated April 15, 2009 without substantive changes.

 


 

The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office also has information regarding travel to Grenada 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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