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Travel Security Advice for Mauritius

Mauritius_National_Flag

mauritius_mapMaritius_Overview

 


COUNTRY DESCRIPTION:

The Republic of Mauritius is a small island nation of four inhabited and several other islands located in the southwestern Indian Ocean.  Mauritius has a stable government and a diverse economy.  Its per capita GDP of $7000 is the second highest in Africa.  Facilities for tourism are well-developed.  English is the official language of Mauritius; however Creole and French are also widely spoken.  English may not be understood outside of main towns and tourist areas.  The capital city is Port Louis.  Please read the Department of State Background Notes on Mauritius for additional information.

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS:

A valid passport, onward/return ticket, and proof of sufficient funds are required.  Immigration authorities require the validity of the entrant’s passport to be greater than six months upon both arrival and departure.  Travelers must also provide a local address where they will be staying in Mauritius.  Visas are issued at the point of entry.  A tourist entry fee and the airport departure tax are included in the price of a plane ticket.  Travelers coming from yellow fever-infected areas may be asked to present a yellow fever vaccination certificate.

Travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy of Mauritius, 4301 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 441, Washington, DC 20008; telephone (202) 244-1491/2, or the Honorary Consulate in Los Angeles, telephone (310) 557-2009.  Overseas, inquiries may be at the nearest Mauritian embassy or consulate.  Visit the web site of the Embassy of Mauritius at http://www.maurinet.com/embasydc.html for the most current visa information.

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:

Thefts in tourist areas are a concern, and visitors should keep track of their belongings at all times.  Women are advised against walking alone, particularly on public beaches and at night.  There have been reports of sexual assault and harassment of foreign travelers.  Americans should avoid crowds and street demonstrations, and maintain a low profile.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs’ web site at http://travel.state.gov/.

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 pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad.

CRIME:

Although violent crimes are uncommon, petty crime is a problem.  There is potential for pick-pocketing and purse snatching, especially in crowded areas.  Residential break-ins are reported frequently on the island.  Most break-ins are surreptitious and do not involve violence, however some burglars have brandished weapons, such as knives or machetes.  Although uncommon, there have been reports of armed robbery and assault.  It is unwise to walk alone at night outside the immediate grounds of hotels.  All individuals should exercise caution on beaches and poorly lit or deserted areas at night.

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 could 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 Mauritius is: 999 for police, 114 for emergency medical assistance, and 115 for the fire service.

See our information on Victims of Crime.

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 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.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES:

Spear fishing equipment may not be imported to Mauritius.  Animals may be required to undergo a quarantine period of up to six months, depending on the country of origin and residence history.  Please contact the Mauritian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at (+230) 464-5084 for specific information related to your pet.

Please see our Customs Information.

MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION:

Medical facilities are available, but more limited than in the United States.  Emergency assistance is limited.  While public hospitals and clinics provide free care, many visitors may choose to be treated by private doctors and hospitals.  Service Aide Medicale Urgence (SAMU) is a government organization that provides ambulance and emergency assistance in response to calls to 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: 116; 464-6116).

Outbreaks of the mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus have occurred in recent years; however, very few cases have been reported since 2006.  For more information, please see the CDC’s fact sheet on Chikungunya at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/Chikungunya/CH_FactSheet.html.

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

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, 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) or via the CDC’s web site at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/default.aspx For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization’s (WHO) web site at http://www.who.int/en.  Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith/en.

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

Driving is on the left side of the road.  Roads are sometimes narrow and uneven with inadequate lighting, making night driving hazardous.  Speed limits are posted in kilometers per hour, but all road and traffic signs are posted in English.  Drivers and all passengers are required to wear seat belts.  Drivers and passengers on motorcycles are required to wear helmets.  Babies and toddlers should be placed in child seats.  Many accidents occur due to excessive speed and violations of road regulations.

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 not taken action against drivers who leave the scene if they have proceeded directly to a police station.  In cases of minor accidents involving two parties but which involve no injuries and where drivers are not under the influence of alcohol/drugs, drivers may fill out and sign an “Agreed Statement of Facts.”  Police presence is not required for this.  Each party should retain one copy of the statement for presentation to respective auto insurance companies.

While there are organizations that provide emergency or roadside assistance, their resources and capabilities are limited and on occasion they are unable to respond in non-life threatening incidents.

Public transportation by bus is available between the main towns until 11:00 p.m. and in remote areas until 6 p.m.  Taxis are also available.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. 

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT:

As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Mauritius, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Mauritius’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards.  For more information, travelers may visit the FAA’s web site at http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/iasa.

CHILDREN'S ISSUES:

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

REGISTRATION / EMBASSY LOCATION:

Americans living or traveling in Mauritius are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department’s travel registration web site so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security within Mauritius.  Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy.  By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.  The U.S. Embassy is located on the fourth floor of the Rogers House on John F. Kennedy Street in Port Louis, telephone (+230) 202-4400; fax (+230) 208-9534.  The Consular Section’s email is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and the website is http://mauritius.usembassy.gov/.

This replaces the Country Specific Information for Mauritius dated May 21, 2008 to update sections on Country Description, Safety and Security, Information for Victims of Crime, and Medical Facilities and Health Information.


The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office also has information regarding Mauritius HERE...

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

There is also a Malaria Warning issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention HERE....

Regards

The SW Team.......

 

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