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Capital: Bridgetown

Time Zone: -5 hours.
Tel. Country Code: 1
USADirect Tel.: 1
Electrical Standards: Electrical Current 115/50 (volts/hz). North American Style Adaptor Plug. Grounding Adptor Plug A.

Travel Advisory - Barbados

Travelers to Central and South America and the Caribbean need to protect themselves against mosquito-transmitted viruses, such as dengue and Zika, as well as nighttime biting mosquitoes in countries where there is  the threat of malaria. I recommend all travelers use a combination of DEET or Picaridin repellent on their skin and Permethrin fabric insecticide on their clothing for greater than 99% protection against mosquito and tick bites.

Dr. Rose Recommends for Travel to Barbados

Resource Links

World Health Organization
Travel Health Services
Country Insights
Travel Warnings
Consular Information
Foreign Commonweatlh Office


• U.S. Embassy
Wildey Business Park
St. Michael
Barbados, W.I.
Phone: [1] (246) 436-4950
Fax: [1] (246) 429-5246
The Consular Section is located in the American Life Insurance Company (ALICO) Building, Cheapside. Travelers should call the Consulate for travel-related problems or questions.
Telephone: [1] (246) 431-0225
Fax: [1] (246) 431-0179
Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except local and U.S. holidays.

The American Citizens Services (ACS) office of U.S. Embassy Bridgetown serves U.S. citizens living in and visiting Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Montserrat, St. Barthelemy, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, French St. Martin, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (U.S. citizens in Dutch St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius are served by the U.S. Consulate General in Curacao.)

• Canadian Embassy
Tel: [1] (246) 429-3550
Fax: [1] (246) 429-3780

• British High Commission
Lower Collymore Rock
Telephone: [1] (246) 430 7800

Entry Requirements

HIV Test: Not required.

Required Vaccinations: Yellow fever vaccination is required for all travelers >1 year of age arriving from a yellow-fever-infected area in Africa or the Americas.

Passport Information

Passport/Visa: U.S. citizens must enter Barbados using a valid U.S. passport. No visa is needed to enter Barbados for stays up to 28 days. There is a departure tax for travelers over the age of twelve. See our Foreign Entry Requirements brochure for more information on Barbados and other countries. For further information, travelers may contact the Embassy of Barbados, 2144 Wyoming Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 939-9200, fax (202) 332-7467, Internet e-mail: ; or the consulates of Barbados in Los Angeles, Miami or New York.


Vaccinations: Recommended and Routine

Hepatitis A: Recommended for all travelers >1 year of age not previously immunized against hepatitis A.

Hepatitis B: Recommended for all non-immune travelers at potential risk for acquiring this infection. Hepatitis B is transmitted via infected blood or bodily fluids. Travelers may be exposed by needle sharing and unprotected sex; from acupuncture, tattooing or body piercing; when receiving non-sterile medical or dental injections, or unscreened blood transfusions; by direct contact with open skin sores on an infected person. Recommended for long-term travelers, expatriates, and any traveler requesting protection against hepatitis B infection.

Influenza: Vaccination recommended for all travelers >6 months of age who have not received a flu shot in the previous 12 months.

Routine Immunizations: Immunizations against tetanus-diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella (MMR vaccine) and varicella (chickenpox) should be updated, if necessary, before departure. MMR protection is especially important for any female of childbearing age who may become pregnant.
• In addition to tetanus, all travelers, including adults, should be fully immunized against diphtheria. A booster dose of a diphtheria-containing vaccine (Td or Tdap vaccine) should be given to those who have not received a dose within the previous 10 years.
Note: ADACEL and Boostrix are new tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap) vaccines that not only boost immunity against diphtheria and tetanus, but have the advantage of also protecting against pertussis (whooping cough), a serious disease in adults as well as children. The Tdap vaccines can be administered in place of the Td vaccine when a booster is indicated.

Typhoid: Recommended for all travelers with the exception of short-term visitors who restrict their meals to major restaurants and hotels, such as business travelers and cruise passengers.

Yellow Fever: Travelers >1 year of age entering the country from an endemic area are required to present a certificate of immunization against yellow fever.

Hospitals / Doctors

Medical care in Barbados is adequate for routine problems. All travelers should be up-to-date on their immunizations and are advised to carry a medical kit as well as antibiotics to treat travelers diarrhea or other infections. Travelers who are taking regular medications should carry them properly labeled and in sufficient quantity to last for the duration of their trip; they should not expect to obtain prescription or over-the-counter drugs in local stores or pharmacies in this country - the equivalent drugs may not be available.
• Travelers are advised to obtain comprehensive travel insurance with specific overseas coverage. Policies should cover: ground and air ambulance transport, including evacuation to home country; payment of hospital bills; 24-hour telephone assistance. In the event of a serious illness or injury every effort should be made to arrange medical evacuation to a more advanced medical facility in another country or the U.S. for treatment and on-going care.

The U.S. Consulate maintains a listing of medical facilities and physicians at:

Barbados has two major hospitals, over 20 clinics and a number of medical laboratories.

• Queen Elizabeth Hospital (600 beds)
Martindales Rd.
St. Michael
Tel: [1] (246) 436-6450
Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) is a 600-bed facility. This is major trauma facility in Barbados. It has a medical intensive care unit, surgical ICU, neonatal intensive care, and a kidney dialysis center. A 24-hour emergency room is located here. The QEH has on its staff, physicians and surgeon consultants of almost all specialties.

• Bayview Hospital
St. Pauls Ave.
St. Michael
Tel: [1] (246) 436-5446
Private medical facility situated on the outskirts of the capital, Bridgetown. Many specialties, including cardiology, Ob/Gyn.

A decompression chamber (The Hyperbaric Chamber in Barbados) is available in St. Michael for the treatment of decompression illness in divers.
Location: The Barbados Defense Force Headquarters
St. Ann Fort, The Garrison
St. Michael, Barbados
Emergency Tel: [1] (246) 436-5483

Destination Health Info for Travelers

AIDS/HIV: The Caribbean has a well-established HIV epidemic and the incidence of HIV/AIDS in the region is now second only to sub-Saharan Africa, making the region the second most affected in the world. The predominant route of HIV transmission in the Caribbean is heterosexual contact. Much of this transmission is associated with commercial sex, but the virus is also spreading in the general population. The contribution by men having sex with men is significant but not well documented, due to a general atmosphere of homophobia making data gathering difficult. At one extreme, Haiti has the highest HIV prevalence in the entire western hemisphere (3.8%); at the other, Cuba has one of the lowest (0.1%). The Bahamas (3.3%), Trinidad and Tobago (2.6%) and Guyana (2.4%) are all heavily affected, while Puerto Rico is the only Caribbean country apart from Cuba where it is thought that less than 1% of the population is living with HIV. The overall prevalence of HIV in the Caribbean is estimated to be between 1.1% and 2.2%. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in adults (15-49) in Barbados is estimated AT 1.5% to 2.0%. (Source:
• Transmission of HIV can be prevented by avoiding: sexual contact with a high-risk partner; injecting drug use with shared needles; non-sterile medical injections; unscreened blood transfusions.
• The threat of HIV/AIDS should not be a primary concern for the traveler. However, there may be a concern for a subset of travelers who may be exposed to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, through contact with the body fluid of another person or their blood. Although travel has contributed in a general way to the global spread of AIDS, fear of traveling because of this disease is not warranted.

Accidents & Medical Insurance: Accidents and injuries are the leading cause of death among travelers under the age of 55 and are most often caused by motor vehicle and motorcycle crashes; drownings, aircraft crashes, homicides, and burns are lesser causes.
• Heart attacks cause most fatalities in older travelers.
• Infections cause only 1% of fatalities in overseas travelers, but, overall, infections are the most common cause of travel-related illness.
• MEDICAL INSURANCE: Travelers are advised to obtain, prior to departure, supplemental travel health insurance with specific overseas coverage. The policy should provide for direct payment to the overseas hospital and/or physician at the time of service and include a medical evacuation benefit. The policy should also provide 24-hour hotline access to a multilingual assistance center that can help arrange and monitor delivery of medical care and determine if medevac or air ambulance services are required.

Dengue Fever: There were 255 cases of dengue fever recorded in Barbados up to the end of September, 2007. but no related deaths. Epidemic and sporadic dengue occurs on Barbados and several hundred cases are reported annually. Dengue fever is a mosquito-transmitted, flu-like viral illness widespread in the Caribbean and West Indies. It is the most common cause of fever in travelers returned to the U.S. from this region. Symptoms consist of sudden onset of fever, headache, muscle aches, and a rash. A syndrome of hemorrhagic shock can occur in severe cases.
• Dengue is transmitted via the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. Aedes mosquitoes feed predominantly during daylight hours. All travelers are at risk and should take measures to prevent daytime mosquito bites. Insect-bite prevention measures include applying a DEET-containing repellent to exposed skin and applying permethrin spray or solution to clothing and gear.
• There is no vaccination or medication to prevent or treat dengue.
A dengue fever map is at:

Food & Water Safety: The Barbados Water Authority provides potable water to households throughout the country. About 99% of households have direct connections to potable water. The City of Bridgetown is connected to a sewerage system and one on the south coast of the country is near completion. Travelers are advised to consume only bottled beverages. Milk is pasteurized and dairy products are safe for consumption. Local meat, poultry, seafood (see below), fruit and vegetables are generally considered safe to eat.
• Ciguatera poisoning is prevalent and can result from eating reef fish such as grouper, snapper, sea bass, jack, and barracuda. The ciguatoxin is not destroyed by cooking.

Hepatitis: All travelers not previously immunized against hepatitis A should be vaccinated against this disease. Travelers who are non-immune to hepatitis A (i.e. have never had the disease and have not been vaccinated) should take particular care to avoid potentially contaminated food and water. Travelers who will have access to safe food and water are at lower risk. Those at higher risk include travelers visiting friends and relatives, long-term travelers, and those visiting areas of poor sanitation.
• Hepatitis E may be endemic but levels are unclear. Sporadic cases probably occur. Transmission of the hepatitis E virus (HEV) occurs primarily through drinking water contaminated by sewage and also through raw or uncooked shellfish. In developing countries, prevention of hepatitis E relies primarily on the provision of clean water supplies and overall improved sanitation and hygiene. There is no vaccine.
• Hepatitis B is endemic at a moderately high level. The overall hepatitis B (HBsAg) carrier rate in the general population is estimated as high as 7%. Hepatitis B is transmitted via infected blood or bodily fluids. Travelers may be exposed by needle sharing and unprotected sex; from non-sterile medical or dental injections, and acupuncture; from unscreened blood transfusions; by direct contact with open skin lesions of an infected person. The average traveler is at low risk for acquiring this infection. Vaccination against hepatitis B is recommended for: persons having casual/unprotected sex with new partners; sexual tourists; injecting drug users; long-term visitors; expatriates, and anybody wanting increased protection against the hepatitis B virus.
• Hepatitis C is with a prevalence of 1.3% in the general population. Most hepatitis C virus (HCV) is spread either through intravenous drug use or, in lesser-developed countries, through blood contamination during medical procedures. Over 200 million people around the world are infected with hepatitis C - an overall incidence of around 3.3% of the population of the world. Statistically, as many people are infected with HCV as are with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis (also known as Weils disease) is reported, primarily from rural areas. This bacterial (spirochetal) illness is commonly transmitted to humans by allowing fresh water that has been contaminated by animal urine to come in contact with unhealed breaks in the skin, eyes or with the mucous membranes. The chief animal hosts are dogs, rats and mice. The most important risk factor identified on Barbados is walking through ponds or stagnant water in rural areas, especially during the rainy season. Leptospirosis is also contacted by those engaged in water sports, such as rafting, after flooding has resulted in contamination of rivers and streams.

Marine Hazards: Swimming related hazards include jellyfish, Portuguese Man-o-War, sharp coral, fire coral, poisonous sponges (the red fire sponge and the touch-me-not), bristle worm, sea urchins, scorpionfish, puffer fish, Moray eel, stingrays, barracudas and sharks. There are no sea snakes in the Caribbean Sea.
• SCUBA DIVING-Hyperbaric Chamber Referral: Divers Alert Network (DAN) maintains an up-to-date list of all functioning hyperbaric chambers in North America and the Caribbean. DAN does not publish this list, since at any one time a given chamber may be non-functioning, or its operator(s) may be away or otherwise unavailable. Through Duke University, DAN operates a 24-hour emergency phone line for anyone (members and non-members) to call and ask for diving accident assistance. Dive medicine physicians at Duke University Medical Center carry beepers, so someone is always on call to answer questions and, if necessary, make referral to the closest functioning hyperbaric chamber. In a diving emergency, or for the location of the nearest decompression chamber, call the DAN Emergency Hotline: [1] 919-684-8111 or [1] 919-684-4DAN (Collect).

Rabies: Barbados is considered rabies-free, but stray and sometimes viscous dogs may be encountered. All unprovoked animal bites should be medically evaluated for possible post-exposure treatment.

Travelers' Diarrhea: Low to moderate risk. In urban and resort areas, the hotels and restaurants serve reliable food and potable water. Outside of hotels and resorts, we recommend that you filter or purify all drinking water or drink only bottled water or other bottled beverages and do not use ice cubes. Avoid unpasteurized dairy products. Do not eat raw or undercooked food (especially meat and raw vegetable). Peel all fruits.
• Wash your hands with soap or detergent, or use a hand sanitizer gel, before you eat. Good hand hygiene reduces the incidence of travelers’ diarrhea by 30%.
• A quinolone antibiotic, azithromycin, or rifaximin (Xifaxin), combined with loperamide (Imodium), is recommended for the treatment of diarrhea. Diarrhea not responding to antibiotic treatment may be due to a parasitic disease such as giardiasis, amebiasis, or cryptosporidiosis.
• Seek qualified medical care if you have bloody diarrhea and fever, severe abdominal pain, uncontrolled vomiting, or dehydration.

Typhoid Fever: Typhoid vaccine is recommended by the CDC for all people (except short-stay visitors and cruise ship passengers) traveling to or working in the Caribbean, especially if visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas and staying with friends or relatives where exposure might occur through food or water. Current vaccines against Salmonella typhi are only 50-80% protective and do not protect against Salmonella paratyphi, the cause of paratyphoid fever. (Paratyphoid fever bears similarities with typhoid fever, but the course is generally more benign.) Travelers should continue to practice strict food, water and personal hygiene precautions, even if vaccinated.