Dominica’s Travel Advisory Updated by State Department
A Level 2 Travel Advisory has been updated by the US Department of State for the Commonwealth of Dominica.
On November 21, 2019, the ‘Exercise Increased Caution’ Advisory was updated regarding civil unrest. The State Department says ‘demonstrations and protests can take place with little or no notice.’
Previously, the U.S. Embassy for Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS said in a November 19th statement ‘it is closely monitoring the recent demonstrations in Dominica.’
‘We also urge the Government of Dominica to allow peaceful protesters to exercise their rights as provided for by the Dominica Constitution and laws.’
‘As Dominica prepares for national elections on December 6th, we encourage respect for the rule of law and the conduct of a transparent democratic process.’
The Washington Post reported on November 19th, ‘Assistant Police Commissioner Richmond Valentine said more 200 protesters clashed with police when they tried to march to President Charles Savarin’s home to call for reforms. No fatalities or major injuries were reported.’
Positioned in the West Indies, Dominica is geographically situated as a part of the Leeward Islands chain in the Lesser Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. The capital city of Roseau is located on the western side of the island.
Compared to many other Caribbean islands, Dominica's tourism industry is considered to be underdeveloped. Annual tourist arrivals are estimated at approximately 200,000, of whom about 70,000 are stay-over visitors. The majority of Dominica’s visitors are from cruise ships.
Dominica is unrelated to the country of the Dominican Republic, which is located to the northeast, adjacent to the country of Haiti.
The UK’s Foreign Travel Office updated its Dominica Advisory on November 21st, which says ‘most visits are trouble-free but incidents of crime do occur.’
‘Visitors may see an increase in political marches and gatherings in the lead up to the elections. You should be alert to the situation around you in case of unrest and avoid large crowds and demonstrations.’
Additionally, the FOC says driving on Dominica is on the left. To drive on the island you must get a local temporary driving license. And, many roads were damaged during the passage of Hurricane Maria in September 2017. While most have reopened, extreme and heightened care is needed when navigating some areas.
Additionally, the State Department’s updated Advisory says ‘if you decide to travel to Dominica, consider the following suggestions, which are:
- Avoid demonstrations
- Keep a low profile and be aware of your surroundings
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency
- The current U.S. Embassy is located at Wildey Business Park, Wildey, St. Michael BB 14006, Barbados, W.I. The phone number: +1 246-227-4000, and the Embassy’s website
From a health perspective, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its Travel Advice when visiting Dominica on August 2, 2019. The CDC encourages future visitors to Dominica to ensure their Routine Vaccinations, including vaccines for the measles virus, are up to date.
Separately, UK health authorities have classified Dominica as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information, visit National Travel Health Network and Centre.
During January 2019, the Commonwealth of Dominica’s Ministry of Health declared a dengue fever virus alert. Furthermore, the CDC and the Pan American Health Organization have issued similar Dengue Fever outbreak notices.
Dominica travel vaccine news is published by Vax-Before-Travel.