St Kitts and Nevis Travel Advice
Security travel advice for St Kitts and Nevis
Threat level: Low
The current travel safety advice for St Kitts and Nevis is to be aware of the global security risk of terrorism at prominent tourist destinations, although the risk is low it is recommended to be cautious. Petty crime and other serious crimes do occur, however by following good security measures your visit should be trouble free.
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Recent Security Risk Events
There are no recent security risks to be advised. However please note that popular tourist attractions throughout the world carry a risk of attack from terrorist factions. Please remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to local authorities
In 2008 there was higher than average murder rate for the size of this country, being 23 deaths out of its population of over 46,000 however most deaths were a result of gangs and illegal substance related crime during a period of gang war. Tourists are not targets for attacks although an elderly British couple were murdered in the Half Moon Courtyard area in 2010, it is however a relatively safe tourist destination.
Petty crimes can happen along with more crimes of a serious nature such as assault, rape and murder. Please take safety measures as you would when visiting abroad any country to lower your risk of incident. Some American universities in St. Kitts and Nevis have instituted strict curfew hours for students, as many have been victims of crime in recent years in Basseterre.
Although rarely enforced, homosexual activity is illegal and can carry severe consequences including up to 10 years prison sentence. The prisons in the country are outdated and in poor condition so discretion and awareness of local laws and customs is advised. There has been incidents of discrimination towards the LGBT community on the islands, visitors are asked to respect all and not get involved in any hostile situations.
Most murders and violent crime on the islands is drug related crime and not targeted towards tourists, crime against visitors is rare. It may be wise not to go to unfamiliar or isolated locations, or go out alone in Basseterre after dark. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or accepting drinks from strangers. The local population for the most part are welcoming and friendly.
Although there have been tensions with regards to the country’s location within an active south American drug trafficking area, its relationship with the world is one that is well and its fight to counter trafficking respected. It is one of the Commonwealth nations and has close ties with the United States. St Kitts and Nevis also has strong diplomatic relations with many EU countries.
You must obtain a temporary driving licence to drive on the islands, local car hire companies can assist with this process. Please note that driving during the evening hours may be dangerous as there are narrow roads with sharp bends, some roads in the country are not lit so road signs may not be visible.
Bus services are available however they may be irregular. There are licenced taxis that can be taken and a ferry service with runs between the two islands.
This region is one of a tropical climate and as such has an active hurricane season which runs from June to November, please note during this time in times of severe weather infrastructure and services may be affected. There is also a risk of tremors and possible earthquakes.
Currency: East Caribbean Dollar
Time now in Basseterre:
British and United States of America Passport holders do not need a travel visa to enter St Kitts and Nevis. Many countries require a visa, further information can be found at the St Kitts & Nevis Visa Information website.
It is advised that visitors to St Kitts and Nevis 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 St Kitts and Nevis, 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 is a higher incidence of HIV in this region. You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS.
There have been confirmed cases of the Chikungunya fever and Dengue fever in St Kitts and Nevis and suitable precautions are advised. Both 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.
There is no American Embassy in St Kitts and Nevis, you will have to contact the Embassy in Barbados if you require consular assistance:
U.S. Embassy Barbados
Wildey Business Park,
St. Michael BB 14006,
Telephone: +1 246 227-4000
There is no British Embassy in St Kitts and Nevis, you will have to contact the British High Commission in Bridgetown if you require consular assistance:
British High Commission Bridgetown
Lower Collymore Rock,
PO Box 676,
Telephone: +1 246 430 7800
Other useful info
Police, Fire, Ambulance emergency: 999
Fire emergency: 999
Ambulance emergency: 999 (333 in Nevis)