Haiti Travel Advice

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Haiti Travel Advice

Security travel advice for Haiti

How safe is Haiti?

Threat level: High

COVID-19 Situation in Haiti

There are reported cases of the coronavirus in Haiti. However, the state of emergency that was declared last year was lifted on the 27th of July and borders have reopened. To curb the spread of the virus, Haiti has implemented a series of measures including imposing a curfew between 00:00 and 04:00, the compulsory use of face masks in public, social distancing rules, sanitising hands when entering public facilities, as well as banning public gatherings over 10 people. Air passengers travelling to Haiti must present a negative PCR test result on arrival, taken no more than 72 hour prior to arrival or they will have to quarantine for 14 days in their own accommodation. Travellers may be subject to temperature check on arrival and may have to complete a health declaration form on the flight. To avoid contracting the disease, apply good hygiene practices, maintain social distancing, avoid public gatherings and unnecessary travel.

Security in Haiti

The overall travel advice for Haiti is that visitors to Haiti should exercise a high degree of caution when visiting the country. This is due to high levels of poverty resulting in high crime levels. It is recommended that you do not travel to Haiti alone and where possible, seek local guides.

The risk of kidnapping in Haiti is high and there has been a surge in reported cases, reaching a level of nearly one kidnapping a day by the end of 2020 with a total of 39 cases in 2019 to nearly 200 in 2020. Kidnapping is conducted by heavily armed gangs, who have benefited from protection from President Moïse in exchange for political favors. In some cases, it has been reported that kidnappers were wearing police uniforms or/and were driving police vehicles.

The threat of terrorism in the country is relatively low but travellers are advised to remain aware of the wider threat of terrorism particularly to western travellers.

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Security Risks
Due to food and fuel shortage, Haiti is suffering unrest with ongoing anti-government mass protests throughout the country, led by opposition political parties to force President Jovenel Moïse to step down. On the 12th of October 2019, protesters attempted to march on the home of the President in Port-au-Prince, demanding his resignation after Néhémie Joseph, a prominent journalist who covered the demonstrations was killed during a protest. This was followed by an attempted coup d'etat on the 7th of February 2021 to overthrow President Moïse that was aborted.

The travel advice for Haiti is that visitors should take care at cash points and avoid withdrawing large amounts of money if possible and try to be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Haiti's International Relations

Haiti enjoys diplomatic relations with 37 countries most of which are with European countries. It has good relations with Taiwan too as it is a major trading partner. It maintains a good diplomatic relationship with Cuba and as a result, Cuba has contributed a large number of doctors to the country.

There are strained relations between Haiti and Dominican Republic, as the significant cultural differences and quality of life causes tension across the countries. During the period immediately after the devastating Haiti earthquake, the Dominican Republic was one of the first countries to provide aid as well helping Haitians gain visas to receive medical treatment. However, tensions between the two nations have come back as many Haitians remain in the Dominican Republic being subject to frequent discrimination.

Travelling around Haiti

It is recommended you do not travel to the Carrefour, Cite Soleil, Martissany and Bel Air neighbourhoods of Port au Prince unless absolutely necessary. Visiting slum areas may lead to unwanted attention from those seeking help. Cars often drive without lights so keep this in mind if you drive after sunset.

Roads between and within cities and larger town are in a relatively good condition. Rural areas may require a 4x4 to be able to travel safely. After prolonged periods of rainfall, roads can get flooded which can damage your vehicle. You should remain cautious and drive defensively at all times.

There are frequently fuel shortages and disruptions to petrol stations so you should try and keep your car at least hall filled with petrol at all times and even consider carrying reserves if you are driving long distances between areas.

For stays shorter than 3 months, most national driving permits are accepted. Anything longer will require you to apply for an international driving permit.

Extreme weather and natural disasters

Haiti is prone to earthquakes. In 2010 there was a disastrous earthquake that hit the country which left over 200,000 dead and even more injured. It caused devastating damage to the capital city’s infrastructure as well as surrounding areas. You should familiarise yourself what to do in case of an emergency. You can find further advice on this here: Federal Emergency Management

Haiti is also subject to tropical storms that can turn quickly into major hurricanes during the Atlantic Hurricane season that runs from June to November.

Commercial Travel Risk Services

Intelligent Protection International Limited provides companies and organisations with Commercial Travel Risk Services designed to mitigate risks of staff when they travel for business. If you are interested in these services, please see: Commercial Travel Risk Services.

Emergency Services in Haiti

All emergency services: 114
Rape and sexual assault helpline: 572

Haiti Overview

Capital: Port-au-Prince
Official languages: French and Haitian Creole
Religion: Christianity (Catholicism)
Currency: Haitian Gourde
Time now in Port-au-Prince:

Consular information for Haiti

U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince
Boulevard du 15 October,
Tabarre 41, Route de Tabarre,
Telephone: +509 2229 8000
Emergency Telephone: +509 2229 8000
Email: acspap@state.gov

British Embassy Port-au-Prince
Entre 73 et 75 Delmas,
Telephone: +509 2812 9191
Emergency Telephone: +180 9472 7111

Visa requirements for Haiti

Most tourists can enter Haiti without the need for a visa for up to 90 days providing they have a valid passport. The passport should be valid for 6 months beyond your stay but this can vary by nationality. Upon arrival you will be issued with a card at the airport which you must keep for your trip until your return.

You may also have to pay a departure cost when leaving Haiti although this is often included in your airfare. If you are flying to the Dominican Republic you will have to pay around $55 USD in cash so ensure you have this left over.

Healthcare and Immunisations

It is advised that visitors to Haiti 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. You may also want to consider a Hepatitis A vaccination. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.

Other health risks
Medical facilities in Haiti are lacking in resources and staff, especially since the 2010 earthquake. There are very few ambulances in the country therefore emergency services may not arrive quickly and is not guaranteed at all.

In cases of serious injury or illness, medical evacuation to a country better equipped might be necessary. It is extremely important that your travel insurance covers you for such cases as it can prove to be extremely expensive.

Malaria, Dengue and Zika that are viral infections transmitted by mosquitoes are present in the country. You should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

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      You are responsible for your own safety abroad and for making the decision to travel.

      The information contained in this Travel Advice for Haiti is provided for information only. Whilst care is taken to ensure that this country brief is as up-to-date and accurate as possible, it is provided on an "as is" basis without any representation or endorsement made and without warranty of any kind, express or implied. Intelligent Protection International Limited does not assume responsibility and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.