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Country Reports

Bermuda Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

As a UK Overseas Territory whose governance is overseen by the British government, a key area of focus for Bermuda’s authorities will be the impact of Brexit on Bermuda and, in particular, on its substantial offshore financial centre. In late 2018, Bermuda passed legislation clamping down on tax avoidance and financial crime via its offshore sector as a direct result of UK and EU pressure. Inclusion, or otherwise, on an EU tax blacklist will be a key indicator both of ongoing EU pressure for and Bermuda’s appetite for further reform. Additionally the draft withdrawal agreement negotiated by UK Prime Minister Theresa May, which if ratified would see the UK leave the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union by 31 October , poses the risk of ‘hard borders’ causing disruption between UK Overseas Territories and EU member states. In January 2019, Bermuda opened a new international office in Brussels to ensure Bermuda’s interests continue to be represented to EU institutions during the Brexit process and beyond.GDP is expected to grow 1.9% in 2019 as a result of the investments expected in the international business and insurance sectors. The island is not showing significant adverse effects from the end-2017 tax reform in the United States. However, the risk associated with our growth forecast weighs on the downside as a slowdown in activity in the United States and in China would lower economic growth in Bermuda.Operational risks are low, although some complications stem from the geographical isolation of the islands and the prospect of being hit by severe storms in the hurricane season between August and October.
Last update: May 31, 2019

Operational Outlook

Bermuda comprises some of the world's most remote inhabited islands, but air links to the territory's LF Wade International Airport are good, as are local power and telecommunications networks. Labour costs are relatively high, but local bureaucracy is efficient and transparent. Disputes with unions are likely to remain highly infrequent in the one-year outlook. Activism on the island is limited almost entirely to environmental opposition to developments in the tourism sector. Corruption is not a major concern in Bermuda and the country introduced revised anti-bribery legislation in 2017. Bermuda remains vulnerable to natural disasters, such as hurricanes.

Last update: May 18, 2019

Terrorism

Low

There is no specific terrorist threat in Bermuda. No domestic or homegrown groups are known to target Western interests such as bars, nightclubs, shops, restaurants, or other places where expatriates and tourists may gather. This is unlikely to change during 2019. No militant independence movement exists that would challenge UK sovereignty through violent means.

Last update: June 21, 2019

Crime

The primary risk to visitors remains petty crime, though the island is relatively safer than its Caribbean counterparts. According to the most recentofficial statistics, serious assaults during 2018 declined to 32, down from 37 and 46 in 2017 and 2016, respectively. Firearms incidents have also steadily decreased from 82 in 2016 to 27 in 2018; only of three of these incidents last year resulted in death or injury. Despite the reduction in levels of violent crime, the number of arrests for such incidents have increased slightly, from 22 in 2017 and 2016 to 24 in 2018.

Last update: May 15, 2019

War Risks

War risks in Bermuda will remain negligible through 2019. Bermuda is a British Overseas territory with no border disputes. British military capabilities will remain a strong incentive against hostile actions by other state actors. There is no militant independence movement in the territory willing to use force to challenge UK sovereignty.

Last update: May 15, 2019

Social Stability

Moderate

There is a low risk of large-scale or violent protests. Unions are not militant and incidents of industrial action tend to be quickly resolved and do not pose property damage risks. On several occasions in 2016, protesters attempted to block parliamentarians access to the House of Assembly and thereby prevent the approval of legislation on immigration and an airport redevelopment plan. According to local media, during the immigration policy protest, key services including public transport, dock operations, and refuse collection were disrupted. The Bermuda Union of Teachers held disruptive protest marches in 2017.

Last update: May 15, 2019

Health Risk

Very high

Vaccines Required to Enter the Country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Vaccines Recommended for All Travelers

Routine vaccinations: Consult your doctor to ensure all routine vaccinations - such as for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, influenza, measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella, varicella, etc. - are up to date (include booster shots if necessary).

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).

Last update: April 5, 2019

Natural Risks

Severe

The archipelago is regularly subjected to tropical storms that have the potential to cause significant material damage, flooding, power outages, and transportation disruptions. However, good storm response and warning systems along with well-developed infrastructure often mitigate storms' impacts. The Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to November 30. Information regarding current or forecast storms is available on the US National Hurricane Center's website. 

Last update: April 5, 2019

Transportation

Low

Potential visitors should also note that non-residents are forbidden from possessing, renting, or driving a four-wheeled vehicle (i.e. a car) while on the territory. Road accidents involving scooters - available to tourists - are common, in part due to road conditions (narrow, winding roads, traffic congestion).

Taxis, buses, and ferries are available and safe.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

Bermuda's climate is subtropical and conditions are hot and humid from May until mid-November, particularly during the months of July and August. Hurricanes can strike the archipelago from June until November. Strong winds are common between December and April.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +1 441
Emergency Services: 911

Electricity

Voltage: 120 V ~ 60 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019