Dominica Country Report
The Skerrit administration is likely to remain in place until the end of its current term in 2019, despite popular unrest co-ordinated by the United Workers' Party (UWP) in early 2017 over the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP). Since the damage caused by Hurricane Maria in September 2017, which destroyed 90% of buildings, the UWP has aired concerns over the management of funding from the CIP and foreign aid for the reconstruction of the island, and pulled out of the government committee on this in January 2018. The CIP has also drawn criticism from the US, which has named Dominica as a "major money laundering country". Crime has increased in recent years, but Dominica remains one of the Caribbean's safest countries. Counter-narcotics operations pose a risk to vessels.
The operational environment is adequate, and the government remains friendly to the private sector and foreign direct investment (FDI). Dominica is vulnerable to extreme weather events, with Hurricane Maria causing extensive damage to the island's infrastructure in September. The labour movement does not represent an operational constraint as disruptive strikes are rare. Limited state capacity means that bureaucracy is often slow, although corruption is not a major concern. According to World Bank data, Dominica ranked 101st out of 189 economies for ease of doing business in 2017. Dominica has the cheapest citizenship by investment programme in the world, last amended in October 2017 to increase competitiveness.
There are no known terrorist organisations operating in Dominica and the country's low profile makes it an unlikely target for international terrorist groups. Foreign individuals are unlikely to be subject to violent attack.
Dominica faces no significant external threats. The country was formerly engaged in a diplomatic dispute with Venezuela over ownership of the Isla de Aves. However, in 2007, Dominica's prime minister followed the foreign policy position of countries like the Dominican Republic, France, and the United States, and recognised Venezuela's claim to the island. Today, the two countries enjoy cordial relations and, despite the persistence of some minor disagreements over the delineation of their shared maritime boundary, the risk of military conflict is very minimal.
Risks of unrest have increased in Dominica, with February 2017 seeing riot police deployed in the capital, Roseau, to contain protests and looting during demonstrations against Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit over the country's Citizenship by Investment Programme. In September 2017, looting in Portsmouth and Roseau followed extensive damage caused by Hurricane Maria. Despite the island not being characterised by serious ethnic tensions, conflictive labour relations, or other social tensions that could lead to major incidents of unrest, prolonged delays to hurricane reconstruction could provoke protests in the next 6–12 months. Strikes by labour unions are rare.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required for travelers over one year of age arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever (YFV) transmission and for travelers who have been in transit for >12 hours in an airport located in a country with risk of YFV transmission.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Like many Caribbean nations, Dominica is exposed to tropical storms and hurricanes. The official hurricane season extends from June 1 to November 30, with a peak of storms typically observed in August and September.
Hurricane Maria caused widespread destruction and dozens of deaths when it passed over Dominica as a category 5 storm (on a scale of 1 to 5) in September 2017. Approximately 90 percent of structures on the island were damaged or destroyed in the storm. Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit declared a national state of emergency after the storm hit and implemented a daily curfew from 16:00 to 08:00 (local time), which will remain in place until conditions stabilize. Power outages, water cuts, telecommunication issues, transportation disruptions, and shortages of basic goods could last for months in some areas, as recovery efforts drag on.
In late August 2015, Tropical Storm Erika hit the island nation, killing 34 people and inflicting major damage on housing and infrastructure.
Additionally, the island, and the eastern Caribbean region more generally, is located in a seismic zone.
Secondary and minor roads are often in poor condition. Drivers should be particularly cautious at night and outside of tourist areas.
For security reasons, only use licensed taxis; note that taxis are not metered so the fare should be agreed upon in advance.
To drive in Dominica (on the left-hand side of the road in this former British colony), foreigners must obtain a temporary local license. Visitors should contact their rental agency for more information.
Temperatures are pleasant throughout the year. The rainy season lasts from August to September and during this time large amounts of rain fall on the country. Except during the dry season (January-May), light showers are often observed. Hurricanes sometimes pass over Dominica during the month of September and have been known to cause significant damages throughout the island.
|Country Code:||+1 767|
|Police:||448 22 22|
|Fire Dept., Ambulance:||(767) 448 28 90 or (767) 448 88 90|
Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz