Antigua and Barbuda Country Report
Prime Minister Gaston Browne encourages foreign direct investment, especially in the tourism sector. In September 2017, Hurricane Irma destroyed over 90% of Barbuda's infrastructure including roads, electricity infrastructure, and water systems. In early 2018, the government announced the reconstruction of major highways in Antigua and a USD90-million port modernisation project funded partly by Chinese firms, while continuing with the Paradise Found hotel project for Barbuda, which has been previously legally challenged by political opposition. Despite its pro-business stance, the government is immersed in disputes with telecom firm Digicel and Scotiabank.
The risk of terrorist attacks is low. There are no known local terrorist groups, or international organisations with the intent of conducting armed attacks in Antigua and Barbuda. The government is working on a framework regarding anti-money laundering and combating terrorism financing. In 2018, the government put forward a money-laundering prevention amendment bill to improve the monitoring of financial activities.
Most murders in Antigua and Barbuda are related to organised crime and drug trafficking gangs. In 2018, the total number of murders fell to 12, a 40% decrease compared with 20 incidents in 2017. The country is a transit point for illegal drugs coming from Latin America towards the United States and Europe. The primary risk to visitors is petty theft with those resisting criminals facing death and injury risks. Despite comprehensive legislation and financial regulations, the country remains susceptible to money laundering owing to its substantial offshore financial sector and internet gaming industry.
There are low inter-state war risks as the country enjoys friendly relations with most nations. The Coast Guard is primarily used to stop and search ships in anti-drugs operations, but seldom uses force.
Vaccines Required to Enter the Country
Yellow fever: There is no risk of contracting yellow fever in Antigua and Barbuda. However, the government requires proof of vaccination for travelers arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission. A single dose of YF vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained life-long immunity against the disease.
Vaccines Recommended for Most Travelers
Hepatitis A: The vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart, and is nearly 100 percent effective. The WHO recommends the vaccine be integrated into national routine immunization schedules for children aged one year or older.
Typhoid fever: The typhoid fever vaccine can be administered via injection (administered in one dose) or orally (four doses). The vaccine is only 50-80 percent effective, so travelers to areas with a risk of exposure to typhoid fever, a bacterial disease, should also take hygienic precautions (e.g. drink only bottled water, avoid undercooked foods, wash hands regularly, etc.). Children can be given the shot beginning at two years of age (six for the oral vaccine).
Vaccines Recommended for Some Travelers
Hepatitis B: The WHO recommends that all infants receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The birth dose should be followed by two or three doses to complete the primary series. Routine booster doses are not routinely recommended for any age group.
Rabies: The rabies vaccination is typically only recommended for travel to remote areas and if the traveler will be at high risk of exposure (e.g. undertaking activities that will bring them into contact with dogs, cats, bats, or other mammals). The vaccination is administered in three doses over a three-to-four week period. Post exposure prophylaxis is also available and should be administered as soon as possible following contact with an animal suspected of being infected (e.g. bites and scratches).
Hurricane season extends from June to November, with peak activity in mid-September. Powerful storms can cause significant material damages as well as disruptions to transportation. If a storm is forecast, follow any instructions issued by the local authorities; storms are systematically tracked by the US-based National Hurricane Center, which publishes forecast storm trajectories and associated warnings on its website.
The eastern Caribbean region, where Antigua and Barbuda is located, is in a seismic zone and earthquakes may occur.
Roads are often narrow and winding and many are poorly maintained, making driving conditions relatively hazardous; be particularly vigilant on tertiary and rural roads. Visitors should note that cars travel on the left-hand side of the road and that visitors are required to obtain a temporary Antiguan driver's license before driving.
Taxis do not have meters; fares should be decided on prior to departure.
Public transportation is safe and inexpensive.
The climate is tropical with temperatures mitigated by trade winds that blow all year long (with the exception of September) across the island nation. Humidity is low and days are sunny throughout the year, with temperatures the highest between May and November.
|Country Code:||1 268|
Voltage: 230 V ~ 60 Hz