State Department Travel Advisories Bahamas Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda

State Department Travel Advisories Bahamas Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda
State Department Travel Advisories Bahamas Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda
State Department Bahamas Travel Warning March 1 2019
State Department Bahamas Travel Warning March 1 2019

State Department Travel Advisories Bahamas Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda – On January 10 2019 and January 15, 2019, the U.S. State Department issued a  travel advisory for Antigua and Barbuda as well as for Antarctica.

Oddly, the State Department website lists no travel advisory for the Bahamas in their advisory index (see video below), though CBS (and several other news outlets) posted a video stating  “U.S. Reissues Travel Warning For The Bahamas, Urges Tourists ‘To Use Caution”.

You can see on our feature image for this article, the Bahamas in on the map for level 2 travel advisories. Yet, there is no information on the State Department website index of travel advisories.

However, when digging through the website and going to a link for the Bahamas directly, you’ll find  The Bahamas Travel Advisory issued February 25, 2019 for a  Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution advisory.

This supports the letter Anthem of the Seas passengers received two months ago on December 26, 2018, while on their Christmas cruise, warning them of crime in the Bahamas .

Exercise increased caution in The Bahamas due to crime.

Anthem of the Seas Bahamas Travel Warning
Anthem of the Seas Bahamas Travel Warning

“Violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assault, is common, even during the day and in tourist areas. Although the family islands are not crime-free, the vast majority of crime occurs on New Providence and Grand Bahama islands. U.S. government personnel are not permitted to visit the Sand Trap area in Nassau due to crime. Activities involving commercial recreational watercraft, including water tours, are not consistently regulated. Watercraft are often not maintained, and many companies do not have safety certifications to operate in The Bahamas. Jet-ski operators have been known to commit sexual assaults against tourists.  As a result, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to use jet-ski rentals on New Providence and Paradise Islands.

If you decide to travel to The Bahamas:

  • Exercise caution in the area known as “Over the Hill” (south of Shirley Street) and the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay in Nassau, especially at night.
  • Do not answer your door at your hotel/residence unless you know who it is.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for The Bahamas.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency and medical situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.”

There is a conflicting article link on Bahamas News.net for an article on Cision PR Newswire which states. “NASSAU, BahamasFeb. 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The Islands of The Bahamas was recognized with 18 awards across nine categories in this year’s USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards for the  Caribbean.  The  Bahamas  claimed three number one spots for Best Caribbean Beach (Gold Rock Beach in Freeport), Best Caribbean Island for Romance (Green Turtle Cay in The Abacos) and Best Caribbean Restaurant (Graycliff in Nassau).”

At the bottom of the article which states it is provided by Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviationdated Feb 28, 2019, 17:14 ET are links to Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation and Public Relations  with email contacts in the Bahamas.  I’m going out on a limb here to say, maybe, just maybe the article is a negative press campaign crisis communications program, due  to the recent negative publicity across the web regarding this travel advisory.

United Kingdom Foreign Travel Advice – Bahamas

On the United Kingdom Foreign Travel Advice website,  as of March 1, 2019, states, “The hurricane season in the Bahamas normally runs from June to November. You should follow the advice of the local authorities and any evacuation orders. You can also monitor the progress of approaching storms from the US National Hurricane Center.

UK health authorities have classified the Bahamas as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice, visit the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

Cases of Chikungunya virus have been confirmed in the Bahamas. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Almost 28,000 British nationals visited the Bahamas in 2015. Most visits are trouble-free. There have been incidents of violent crime including robbery. Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in the Bahamas, attacks can’t be ruled out.”

List of United States State Department Travel Warnings March 1 2019
State Department website index of travel advisories

Antigua and Barbuda Travel Advisory – February 26, 2019

Antigua

Exercise normal precautions in Antigua and Barbuda. If you decide to travel to Antigua and Barbuda:

  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Barbados, which covers Antigua and Barbuda.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Barbuda

While Antigua received little damage during the 2017 hurricane season, Barbuda was seriously damaged. Infrastructure on Barbuda is still being rebuilt and there is power to fewer than half of the residences on the island.

General Travel Warning – January 15, 2019

This latest update to the Department of State’s Worldwide Caution provides U.S. citizens with general information regarding terrorist activities, political violence and criminal activity that transpire abroad, as well as specific recommendations on how to prepare for possible contingencies, receive information on breaking security events and ensure that travelers can be contacted in an emergency. This version replaces the Worldwide Caution dated July 2, 2018.

As terrorist attacks, political violence (including demonstrations), criminal activities and other security incidents often take place without any warning, U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and practice good situational awareness when traveling abroad. When planning a trip and prior to departing the United States, U.S. citizens should consult country specific Travel Advisories and information pages on travel.state.gov.

Travelers are also urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and to make it easier to locate you in an emergency. The Department uses these security messages to convey information about terrorist threats, security incidents, planned demonstrations, natural disasters, etc.

In an emergency, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate or call the following numbers: 1 (888) 407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1 (202) 501-4444 from other countries.

U.S. government facilities worldwide actively monitor potential security threats and may temporarily close or periodically suspend public services to assess their security posture. In those instances, U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens abroad are urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate.

Terrorist groups including ISIS, al-Qa’ida, their associates, and those inspired by such organizations, are intent on attacking U.S. citizens wherever they are. Extremists may use conventional or non-conventional weapons to target U.S. government and private interests. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods, including edged weapons, pistols and vehicles, as weapons to effectively target crowds. Extremists increasingly aim to identify and attack “soft” targets, such as:

  • high-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)
  • hotels, clubs and restaurants
  • places of worship
  • schools
  • parks
  • shopping malls and markets
  • tourism infrastructure and tourist sites
  • public transportation systems
  • airports

In multiple regions, terrorists, guerrilla groups and criminals seek to kidnap U.S. citizens to finance their operations or for political purposes. The Department also remains concerned that terrorists could again seek to down aircraft using concealed explosives or hijack commercial flights.

Private U.S. citizens should not travel to any country to participate in armed conflict. U.S. citizens are reminded that fighting on behalf of, or providing other forms of support to, designated terrorist organizations can constitute the provision of material support for terrorism, which is a serious crime that can result in penalties, including prison time and large fines. 

Antarctica Travel Warning – January 10, 2019

Several of the smaller cruise lines take cruises to South America, which include calls in or around Antarctica. Most of those cruise ship are ice-strengthened. These ships are made to get through the ice at Antarctica and the Arctic. Nowadays, most of the ships that cruise to Antarctica and the Arctic are icestrengthened.

  • Exercise increased caution in Antarctica due to environmental hazards posed by extreme and unpredictable weather.
  • The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Antarctica as the U.S government does not have an embassy or consulate in Antarctica.
  • Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.
  • Obtain comprehensive medical insurance that includes medical evacuation.
  • Travel with a professional guide or organization.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Article Resources:

Recent Bahamas Cruise Articles:

Video: U.S. Reissues Travel Warning For The Bahamas, Urges Tourists ‘To Use Caution’

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