Barbados Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Barbados
Threat level: Low
Barbados is a relatively safe island and very popular tourist destination; there is some violent crime but no real threat of terrorist activity. Barbados relies on its tourist industry, it can get very busy during the summer months and it is at these time when crime peaks.
Recent Security Risk Events
There have been a few incidents with regards to visitors to Barbados being robbed when using unlicensed taxis. It is important for all visitor to only use the licensed taxis or official drivers booked via your hotel or agent. Official licensed Barbados taxis can be easily identified by the letter “Z” on their number plate.
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It is advised not travel at night to the following areas and only to do so during the day if part of a larger party: New Orleans, Deacons, Black Rock, Pine, Carrington Village, and Green Fields. Further advice is to not travel at all to the areas of Crab Hill, St. Lucy and The Ivy or St Michael.
Do not to show outwardly signs of wealth such as expensive jewellery and watches. Gangs have been known to target visitors and while robbery is not a regular occurrence is most areas of the island, in some you are more vulnerable.
Each year a number of foreign nationals get arrested in Barbados for drug smuggling. Barbados is on the international drug trafficking route and is a major transit area for cocaine trafficking to the United States and Western Europe.
Do not get involved with any drug taking when on the island, the Barbados Courts do take drug offences very seriously, arrest for offences can result in imprisonment, fines and deportation.
Barbados has very strong ties to the United Kingdom, the island is a former British colony and member of the Commonwealth, with the British Monarch as head of state.
The island enjoys good international relations with its neighbours and is not at present involved in any international disputes. It was involved with a number of disputes with regards to its maritime boundaries, these have all since been settled.
Barbados is a full member of the International Criminal Court and the General Assembly of the United Nations.
UK, U.S. and EU citizens may drive in Barbados with their own national driving licenses. Car hire is very good in the country and many large international hire firms have a presence in Barbados.
The road conditions on the island are not too bad but can be affected by heavy rain during the hurricane season in the Caribbean normally runs from June to November.
The overall standard of driving in Barbados is not that good. Drive defensively but keep to the speed limits.
There have been a number of cases of vehicles being flagged down, stopped then robbed in some areas of the island. Do not stop and keep all doors and windows secure at all times. It is advised not to travel by vehicle at all during the hours of darkness outside the capital Bridgetown.
Currency: Barbadian Dollar
Time now in Bridgetown:
Under normal circumstance no visa is required for UK, EU and U.S. citizens for a period of up to six months. After this time, you may apply for an extension. Your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay.
A Yellow fever vaccination certificate is required on entry to Barbados. For further information on tourist, study and work visas for Barbados, see: Barbados immigration department
It is advised that visitors to Barbados are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. You should ensure that you have been further vaccinated against diseases such as Tetanus, which is usually administered when you are a young baby.
Although there is no direct risk of Yellow Fever in Barbados, if you are coming from a country where there is a risk of the disease, or transiting for longer than 12 hours in an at risk country, you will be required to provide a vaccination certificate. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
Other health risks
There have been confirmed cases of the Zika virus, Chikungunya fever and Dengue fever in Ecuador and suitable precautions are advised. All three diseases are transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes and although there is no vaccine at present, taking precautions against bites can prevent contraction in the first place.
Healthcare in Barbados is expensive. Please ensure that you have adequate health insurance to cover all medical and dental emergencies. It should be noted that some private clinics may not accept medical insurance as payment for treatment and that they will only accept cash payment.
Health care is quite good in Barbados and on par with US and European standards but more serious case will require emergency evacuation. Visitors are advised to ensure that they have enough prescription medication with them to last for the duration of their stay.
Extreme weather and natural disasters
The hurricane season in Barbados normally runs from June to November. Flooding and landslides due to heavy rainfalls are an issue but more so in rural areas. Visitors are advised to monitor local news and follow an governmental advice.
U.S. Embassy Bridgetown
Wildey Business Park,
St. Michael BB 14006,
Telephone: +246 227 4000
British High Commission Bridgetown
Lower Collymore Rock,
PO Box 676,
Telephone: +246 430 7800
Other useful info
Police emergency: 211
Fire emergency: 311
Medical emergency: 511