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Travel & living abroad

North and Central America and Caribbean

Antigua and Barbuda

Flag of Antigua and Barbuda
Still current at: 07 January 2011
Updated: 28 October 2010


This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the Safety and Security - Political Situation section (removal of reference to possible demonstrations in St John's on 27 October). The overall level of the advice has not changed; there are no travel restrictions in place in Antigua and Barbuda.

(see travel advice legal disclaimer)

Travel advice for this country

Travel Summary


  • There is no British High Commission in Antigua and Barbuda.  British nationals requiring emergency consular assistance may contact the British Honorary Consul, Robert Wilkinson, on 1(268) 561 5046.  If the Honorary Consul is not available and for all other non-consular related matters please contact the British High Commission in Bridgetown , Barbados. See the Contact Details.

  • Most visits to Antigua and Barbuda are trouble-free.  1 British national required consular assistance in Antigua & Barbuda in the period 01 April 2009 – 31 March 2010 for hospitalisation. There has been an overall increase in crime in Antigua over recent years, including gun crime, and four foreign tourists have been killed since July 2008.  See the Crime section of this Travel Advice.

  • There is a low threat from terrorism. But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

  • The hurricane season in Antigua normally runs from June to November.  See the Natural Disasters section of this Travel Advice.

  • We recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. See the General - Insurance section of this Travel Advice.

Safety and security

Safety and Security - Terrorism
There
is a low threat from terrorism.  But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. For more general information see terrorism abroad.

Safety and Security - Crime
Around
97,000 tourists visit Antigua and Barbuda each year (source:  Ministry of Tourism, Antigua) and the vast majority of visits are trouble-free.  Antigua and Barbuda is a friendly and welcoming country and overall crime rates are relatively low.  Despite the relaxed atmosphere however, there have been incidents of violent crime including murder. These tend to occur within the local community but can sometimes affect tourists.

There has been an overall increase in crime in Antigua over recent years, including gun crime. Two British nationals died as a result of a shooting on 27 July 2008, in their room, at a resort near Valley Church in the south west; an Australian yacht captain died following a shooting in the Nelson’s Dockyard area of English Harbour on 22 January 2009 and an American tourist was murdered on a secluded beach in January 2010.

You should therefore maintain at least the same level of security awareness as you would in the UK and ensure that your living accommodation is secure. Apply the same measures if you are staying on a yacht. You should take precautions and be vigilant at all times. Avoid isolated areas, including beaches after dark.  Do not carry large amounts of cash or jewellery. Valuables and travel documents should be left, where possible, in safety deposit boxes and hotel safes.

For more general information see victims of crime abroad.

Safety and Security - Political Situation
Antigua and Barbuda Country Profile


Safety and Security - Local Travel
Safety and Security - Local Travel - Road travel

In order to be able to drive a car in Antigua and Barbuda you must purchase a local driving licence, usually from the car hire company, at a cost of US$ 20 (EC$50). You must show your current driving licence to obtain this.

You should drive with care and attention at all times. The national speed limit is 40mph and there is a limit of 20 mph in built up areas.

Motorists drive on the left in Antigua and Barbuda. Main roads are generally well maintained, although they lack road markings. Pot holes, even on main roads, and poorly marked speed bumps can catch the unwary. Overtaking on blind corners and cutting corners when turning right are commonplace. Stray cattle, goats and dogs are an additional hazard. Pavements are few and very narrow so pedestrians walk on the road. Few streets are lit at night.  

See our driving abroad page.

Safety and Security - Local Travel - Air travel
An airport departure tax of EC$50 is payable per adult (over the age of 12 years) by visitors staying more than 24 hours.

For more general information see airline security.

Local laws and customs

You should note that there are severe penalties for all drug offences. Pack all luggage yourself and do not carry anything through customs for anyone else.

You should be aware that it is an offence for anyone, including children, to dress in camouflage clothing.

Certain homosexual acts are illegal under the laws of Antigua and Barbuda.

For more general advice for different types of travellers see Your Trip.

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements - Visas
British Passport holders do not require visas to visit Antigua and Barbuda. On entry, you are granted a stay of one month. If you wish to stay longer, you must apply and pay for an extension of stay through the Antigua and Barbuda Immigration Department. It is an offence to overstay the entry period or to work without a work permit.

Entry Requirements - Passport validity
Your passport should be valid for at least six months.

Entry Requirements - Foot and mouth disease

You are banned from bringing meat products into Antigua and Barbuda from the United Kingdom in your personal luggage.

Health

You should note that the private medical clinic, Adelin, will not accept medical travel insurance as payment for treatment. You must pay a deposit (US$4,000 in October 2007) via a credit card before treatment will be given. If funds deposited exceed the cost of the treatment, a refund will be given. Before being treated at Adelin you should check if your insurance company is willing to cover the cost of treatment. If not, you will need to use the General Hospital.

Dengue fever is common across the Caribbean and can occur throughout the year. Dengue is a mosquito-borne infection that can cause a feverish illness associated with headache, muscle aches and pains, and rash. Some cases of dengue are severe. Dengue can be prevented by avoiding being bitten by the disease-carrying mosquitoes that feed predominately during daylight hours. For more information on prevention, see the National Travel Health Network and Centre website:  http://www.nathnac.org/pro/factsheets/dengue.htm.

You should exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS. For more general information on how to do this see HIV and AIDS.

You should seek medical advice before travelling to Antigua & Barbuda and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date. For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you should visit the websites of the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) and NHS Scotland’s Fit for Travel or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

See travel health and pandemic and avian influenza.

Natural disasters

Natural Disasters - Hurricanes
The hurricane
season in the Caribbean normally runs from June to November.  You should monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation and the US National Hurricane Centre. For more general information see Tropical Cyclones.

General

General - Insurance
Y
ou should obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance, which includes medical evacuation by air ambulance, before travelling. Be especially careful about cover for recurring illnesses, as this may not be included in all insurance policies. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake. For more general information see travel insurance.


If things do go wrong when you are overseas then see when things go wrong.

General - Registration
Register with our LOCATE service to tell us when and where you are travelling abroad or where you live abroad so our consular and crisis staff can provide better assistance to you in an emergency.

General - Package holidays

If you are on a package holiday, you must travel on the specified return date.  If you fail to do so it is likely that you will have to pay the cost of a return ticket yourself.

General - Passports

Keep a copy of the photopage of your passport and relevant entry stamp in case your documents are stolen.

The passport service for British nationals in Antigua and Barbuda has now moved from Barbados to the UK Passport Service Centre for the Americas and Caribbean in Washington D.C. (http://ukinusa.fco.gov.uk/passports).

If you are applying for a renewal of you UK passport and you are in Antigua and Barbuda, your application, with the appropriate passport fee plus a return courier fee of US$21, should be sent direct to:

The UK Passport Service for the Americas and Caribbean
British Embassy 
19 Observatory Circle, NW
Washington, DC 20008

The British High Commission in Bridgetown will continue to issue Emergency Passports for people who have lost their passports and who have an urgent need to travel to the UK.

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Contacts

Antigua and Barbuda, St. John's, Honorary British Consul

Address:

Office of the Honorary British Consul
C/O PricewaterhouseCoopers
11 Old Parham Road
PO Box 1531
St John’s
Antigua
West Indies

There is no resident British High Commission in Antigua, but there is a British Honorary Consul to Antigua covering consular issues.

Email: robert.wilkinson-honcon@fconet.fco.gov.uk

Fax:

 

Office hours:

If the Honorary Consul is not available and for all other non-consular related matters please contact the British High Commission in Barbados at:

British High Commission
Lower Collymore Rock
PO Box 676
Bridgetown
Barbados

Tel: +1 246 430 7800
Email: britishhcb@sunbeach.net
Website: ukinbarbados.fco.gov.uk

Office hours:
Mon-Thurs: 1200-2000 (GMT)
Fri: 1200-1700 (GMT)

Mon-Thurs: 0800-1600 (Local Time)
Fri: 0800-1300 (Local Time)

Website: http://ukinbarbados.fco.gov.uk/en/

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