Martinique Country Report
The operational environment is likely to be significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic at least until the third quarter of 2020 because of travel and public gathering restrictions, as well as related supply-chain disruption. The island also remains vulnerable to natural disasters, such as hurricanes and drought. In general, the French government offers fiscal incentives to promote investment in the overseas territories. Nevertheless, investors are likely to face problems resulting from bureaucratic delays and petty corruption. Labour unrest remains a constant feature of the operational panorama, although industrial action is likely to subside during the pandemic. Union-led strikes and protests are likely to resume over economic grievances beyond the three-month outlook.
The risk of terrorism is likely to remain moderate. However, the Islamic State group’s territorial losses in Syria and Iraq have increased the risk of foreign fighters returning to Trinidad and Tobago. Martinique is 439 km away from Trinidad and Tobago, which has been a fertile jihadist recruitment ground. Martinique’s proximity to Trinidad and Tobago increases the risk of jihadists using it as a new route to hit France. Calls for independence in Martinique have been stronger than in other French territories, particularly in the 1990s, but this has not generated politically motivated violence or acts of terrorism. Organised crime does not engage in terrorist actions to challenge the state.
Petty crime and criminal violence pose the greatest security risk in Martinique. Murders on the island are on the rise, with at least 7 out of the 21 homicides committed in January-November 2019 probably linked to drug-trafficking feuds, according to the Union of Magistrates of the French West Indies and French Guiana. Martinique has been used by some organised crime groups to traffic cocaine from Suriname and Venezuela to Europe.
The risk of civil or intestate war is low in Martinique. Cost-of-living protests in 2009 forced the central government to deploy over 100 additional Gendarmerie officers to the island from the mainland following three weeks of unrest. The head of the local government executive, veteran politician Alfred Marie-Jeanne, has toned down his pro-independence rhetoric and the likelihood of an independence inspired civil conflict is low. Martinique has no major disputes with its neighbours and France's military superiority over regional states mitigates the risk of interstate conflict.
Vaccines required to enter the country
Yellow fever: There is no risk of contracting yellow fever in Martinique. 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 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).
The rainy season lasts from June until November, with temperatures highest in July (28°C). The dry season extends from January until May (average temperature 26°C). Hurricanes can strike in September and October.
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