Monthly Archives: February 2017

Allegiant Air adds five routes for summer schedule

Expansion grows carrier’s presence in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Mid America/St. Louis Airport.

      

 

 

Continue reading

Posted in USA Today | Tagged , | Comments Off on Allegiant Air adds five routes for summer schedule

Malta

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet for additional information on U.S.-Malta relations.

Visit the Embassy of Embassy of Malta’s website for the most current visa information.

Malta is a party to the Schengen Agreement. This means that U.S. citizens may enter Malta for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond your planned departure date. You need proof of sufficient funds and a return airline ticket for entry. For additional details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Malta.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations. Malta’s open borders with members of the Schengen zone allow the possibility of individual terrorists entering/exiting the country undetected.

CRIME: The most commonly reported crimes are simple assault, pick-pocketing, and petty theft. While armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides are not as common as in some major U.S. cities, they do occur. Criminals focus on areas and establishments frequented by tourists.

  • In general, criminals avoid using violence.
  • Secure your valuables, and be aware of pick-pockets and purse snatchers.
  • Theft of unattended property is a very common problem.

Nightclubs: You should be careful in the Paceville nightclub area, where excessive drinking and poor crowd control can lead to violence, including some that appears to be racially-motivated. Criminals have drugged some travelers at bars and robbed and assaulted them.

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police by dialing 112 and contact the U.S. Embassy at (+356) 2561-4000.

Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence should contact the Embassy for assistance.

Malta’s crime victim assistance agency, Appogg, can be reached by calling its support line (dial 179) or by visiting its website.

The local equivalent to the 911 emergency line in Malta is 112.

For further information:

  • Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Your U.S. passport will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution.

  • Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Malta are severe.
  • Malta’s laws on the rights of arrestees are different from the United States. For example, once you have contacted a lawyer, you lose your right to remain silent.

Judicial Proceedings for Criminal Offenses in Malta: Trials typically last five to seven years and are characterized by lengthy and sometimes unpredictable delays between hearings. Foreign nationals can expect to be denied bail while a court case is ongoing, which can result in lengthy periods of pre-trial detention ranging from several months to several years. Obtaining no-fee legal aid can be a slow and difficult process, delaying already lengthy judicial proceedings.  

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES:

Customs and Currency Restrictions: Malta customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning currency restrictions and temporary importation into or export from Malta of items such as firearms, antiquities, or any item that might be deemed to have resale value. It is advisable to contact the Maltese Embassy in Washington, D.C. for specific information regarding customs requirements.

  • Malta’s customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire /Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. The U.S. Council for International Business issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet in the United States.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI RIGHTS: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Malta.

See the LGBTI Travel Information page and Section 6 of the State Department’s Human Rights Report for further details. 

Students: See the students abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Very few public or private spaces in Malta are wheelchair accessible. Public transportation and most sidewalks or footpaths, including road crossings, are not accessible for those with mobility challenges. Many apartments lack elevators.

  • Taxis are readily available, but the cost is substantially higher than public buses.

Women Travelers: See travel tips for women travelers.

Medical care is available from private and government clinics and hospitals. The quality of medical care in Malta is at U.S. standards; however, customer service standards are lower, there are cultural differences with regard to communication, and there may be long waiting times for non-urgent medical care. Medical specialists are few. Private hospitals generally offer better customer service, shorter wait times, and more amenities. Mater Dei is Malta’s main government hospital. Though it offers full service, including a modern emergency room and trauma facilities, it can be crowded and difficult to navigate.

The U.S. Government does not pay medical bills.  Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most overseas care providers only accept cash payments.  See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the Government of Malta and its Medicines Authority to ensure the medication is legal in Malta. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Continue reading

Comments Off on Malta

Malta

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet for additional information on U.S.-Malta relations.

Visit the Embassy of Embassy of Malta’s website for the most current visa information.

Malta is a party to the Schengen Agreement. This means that U.S. citizens may enter Malta for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond your planned departure date. You need proof of sufficient funds and a return airline ticket for entry. For additional details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Malta.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations. Malta’s open borders with members of the Schengen zone allow the possibility of individual terrorists entering/exiting the country undetected.

CRIME: The most commonly reported crimes are simple assault, pick-pocketing, and petty theft. While armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides are not as common as in some major U.S. cities, they do occur. Criminals focus on areas and establishments frequented by tourists.

  • In general, criminals avoid using violence.
  • Secure your valuables, and be aware of pick-pockets and purse snatchers.
  • Theft of unattended property is a very common problem.

Nightclubs: You should be careful in the Paceville nightclub area, where excessive drinking and poor crowd control can lead to violence, including some that appears to be racially-motivated. Criminals have drugged some travelers at bars and robbed and assaulted them.

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police by dialing 112 and contact the U.S. Embassy at (+356) 2561-4000.

Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence should contact the Embassy for assistance.

Malta’s crime victim assistance agency, Appogg, can be reached by calling its support line (dial 179) or by visiting its website.

The local equivalent to the 911 emergency line in Malta is 112.

For further information:

  • Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Your U.S. passport will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution.

  • Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Malta are severe.
  • Malta’s laws on the rights of arrestees are different from the United States. For example, once you have contacted a lawyer, you lose your right to remain silent.

Judicial Proceedings for Criminal Offenses in Malta: Trials typically last five to seven years and are characterized by lengthy and sometimes unpredictable delays between hearings. Foreign nationals can expect to be denied bail while a court case is ongoing, which can result in lengthy periods of pre-trial detention ranging from several months to several years. Obtaining no-fee legal aid can be a slow and difficult process, delaying already lengthy judicial proceedings.  

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES:

Customs and Currency Restrictions: Malta customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning currency restrictions and temporary importation into or export from Malta of items such as firearms, antiquities, or any item that might be deemed to have resale value. It is advisable to contact the Maltese Embassy in Washington, D.C. for specific information regarding customs requirements.

  • Malta’s customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire /Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. The U.S. Council for International Business issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet in the United States.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI RIGHTS: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Malta.

See the LGBTI Travel Information page and Section 6 of the State Department’s Human Rights Report for further details. 

Students: See the students abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Very few public or private spaces in Malta are wheelchair accessible. Public transportation and most sidewalks or footpaths, including road crossings, are not accessible for those with mobility challenges. Many apartments lack elevators.

  • Taxis are readily available, but the cost is substantially higher than public buses.

Women Travelers: See travel tips for women travelers.

Medical care is available from private and government clinics and hospitals. The quality of medical care in Malta is at U.S. standards; however, customer service standards are lower, there are cultural differences with regard to communication, and there may be long waiting times for non-urgent medical care. Medical specialists are few. Private hospitals generally offer better customer service, shorter wait times, and more amenities. Mater Dei is Malta’s main government hospital. Though it offers full service, including a modern emergency room and trauma facilities, it can be crowded and difficult to navigate.

The U.S. Government does not pay medical bills.  Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most overseas care providers only accept cash payments.  See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the Government of Malta and its Medicines Authority to ensure the medication is legal in Malta. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Continue reading

Comments Off on Malta

Rent a fairy-tale castle for your next vacation

HomeAway.com shares 20 castles where you can sleep like royalty.

      

 

 

Continue reading

Posted in USA Today | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Rent a fairy-tale castle for your next vacation

Antigua & Barbuda

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Antigua and Barbuda for information on U.S. – Antigua and Barbuda relations

Passports and visa: U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport that is valid for 180 days following your departure date. No visa is required if you have an onward or return ticket, confirmation of accommodation, and can produce evidence of your ability to maintain yourself. Passport cards are not accepted.

NOTE: Be aware that Caribbean cruises that begin and end in the United States (closed loop cruises) do not require that you travel with a valid passport. However, should you need to disembark due to an emergency and you do not have a valid passport, you may encounter difficulties entering or remaining in a foreign country. You may also have difficulty attempting to re-enter the United States by air because many airlines will require a valid passport before allowing you to board the aircraft. As such, we strongly recommend that you always travel abroad with your valid passport.

HIV/AIDS: Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist. Please contact the Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda before you travel.

Find information on dual nationality,  prevention of international child abduction,  and Customs Information  on our websites. 

Crime: Crimes, including murder, rape, armed robbery, petty street crime, automobile break-ins and burglary, do occur. Do not leave valuables unattended in public areas, unsecured hotel rooms or in rental homes.

Do not buy counterfeit or pirated goods. These are illegal in the United States, and you may also be breaking local law.

Victims of Crime: For police, fire and medical emergencies call 999 or 911. After you have contacted local authorities, contact the U.S. Embassy at (246) 227-4000.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance at (246) 227-4000.

For further information:

Watersports Advisory: You should carefully assess the potential risks inherent in recreational water activities and measure your participation in them against your physical capabilities and skills. Never venture out alone, particularly at isolated beaches or far out to sea. Avoid entering the water above your waist if you have been drinking and always be mindful of jet ski traffic in the area. When in doubt, stay out!   

Criminal Penalties: If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs or firearms are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law.  For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, request that the police or prison officials notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Firearms: Firearms entry restrictions may exist. Please contact the Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda before you travel.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers: Same-sex marriage is not allowed under local law, and even the impression that a same-sex marriage is taking place can be construed as a violation of the law. Visitors are warned against holding any type of ceremony or event that could appear to be a same-sex marriage.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our   Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Access to buildings, pedestrian paths and transportation is extremely difficult for persons with disabilities. Sidewalks (if they exist) are very uneven and will only occasionally have ramps at intersections. Pedestrian crossings are also very infrequent and can be poorly marked. Buses and taxis do not have special accommodations for disabled persons.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not apply overseas and that doctors and hospital will expect immediate cash payment for health services.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

Medical facilities in Antigua and Barbuda do not meet U.S. standards. The principal medical facility is Mount St. John (telephone (268) 462-0251). There is no hyperbaric chamber; divers requiring treatment for decompression illness must be evacuated from the island.

Zika Virus: Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact.  The CDC has concluded that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in some fetuses and babies born to infected mothers. For additional information about Zika, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website

Chikungunya and dengue fever are present on the island.  Travelers should carry and use CDC recommended insect repellents.

Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Continue reading

Comments Off on Antigua & Barbuda

St. Vincent & the Grenadines

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for information on U.S. – Saint Vincent and the Grenadines relations. 

Passports and visa: U.S. citizens must have a valid U.S. passport at time of entry.

NOTE: Be aware that Caribbean cruises that begin and end in the United States (closed loop cruises) do not require that you travel with a valid passport. However, should you need to disembark due to an emergency and you do not have a valid passport, you may encounter difficulties entering or remaining in a foreign country. You may also have difficulty attempting to re-enter the United States by air because many airlines will require a valid passport before allowing you to board the aircraft. As such, we strongly recommend that you always travel abroad with your valid passport.

HIV/AIDS: Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions may exist.  Please contact the Embassy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines before you travel.

Find information on dual nationality,  prevention of international child abduction,  and Customs Information  on our websites. 

Crime: Crimes, including murder, rape, armed robbery, petty street crime, automobile break-ins and burglary, do occur. Avoid walking alone, especially in isolated locations and at night. Do not leave valuables unattended in public areas, unsecured hotel rooms or in rental homes.

Do not buy counterfeit or pirated goods.  These are illegal in the United States, and you may also be breaking local law.

Victims of Crime: For police, medical, and fire emergencies call 911 or 999. After you have contacted local authorities, contact the U.S. Embassy at (246) 227-4000.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance at (246) 227-4000.

For further information:

Watersports Advisory: You should carefully assess the potential risks inherent in recreational water activities and measure your participation in them against your physical capabilities and skills. Never venture out alone, particularly at isolated beaches or far out to sea. Avoid entering the water above your waist if you have been drinking and always be mindful of jet ski traffic in the area. When in doubt, stay out!

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. Persons violating local laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs or firearms in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law.  For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, request that the police or prison officials notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Firearms: Firearms entry restrictions may exist.  Please contact the Embassy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines before you travel.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers: No laws prohibit discrimination against a person on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Consensual same-sex conduct is illegal under indecency statutes, and some sexual activity between men is also illegal under sodomy laws. Indecency statutes carry a maximum penalty of five years, and acts of sodomy carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our  Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance:

Access to buildings, pedestrian paths and transportation is extremely difficult for persons with disabilities. Sidewalks (if they exist) are very uneven and will only occasionally have ramps at intersections. Pedestrian crossings are also very infrequent and can be poorly marked. Buses and taxis do not have special accommodations for disabled persons.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments.   See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.  

Medical facilities in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines do not meet U.S. standards.The principal medical facility is Milton Cato Memorial Hospital in Kingstown (Telephone (784) 456-1185). There is no hyperbaric chamber; divers requiring treatment for decompression illness must be evacuated from the island.  Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.

Zika Virus: Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact. The CDC has concluded that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in some fetuses and babies born to infected mothers. For additional information about Zika, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website.

Chikungunya, dengue fever, and zika are present on the island. Travelers should carry and use CDC recommended insect repellents. 

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

 

Continue reading

Comments Off on St. Vincent & the Grenadines

St. Lucia

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Saint Lucia for information on U.S. – Saint Lucia relations. 

Passports and visa: U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport that is valid for 6 months following your departure date. No visa is required if you have an onward or return ticket, confirmation of accommodation, and can produce evidence of your ability to maintain yourself.

NOTE: Be aware that Caribbean cruises that begin and end in the United States (closed loop cruises) do not require that you travel with a valid passport. However, should you need to disembark due to an emergency and you do not have a valid passport, you may encounter difficulties entering or remaining in a foreign country. You may also have difficulty attempting to re-enter the United States by air because many airlines will require a valid passport before allowing you to board the aircraft. As such, we strongly recommend that you always travel abroad with your valid passport.

HIV/AIDS: Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions may exist.  Please contact the Embassy of Saint Lucia before you travel at: Embassy of St. Lucia at Tel: (202)364-6792/95, Fax: (202)364-6723, or Email: embassydc@gosl.gov.lc.

Find information on dual nationality,  prevention of international child abduction,  and Customs Information  on our websites. 

Crime: Crimes, including murder, rape, armed robbery, petty street crime, automobile break-ins and burglary, do occur. Do not leave valuables unattended in public areas, unsecured hotel rooms or in rental homes.

Do not buy counterfeit or pirated goods. These are illegal in the United States, and you may also be breaking local law.

Victims of Crime: For police, medical, and fire emergencies call 911. After you have contacted local authorities, contact the U.S. Embassy at (246) 227-4000.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance at (246) 227-4000.

For further information:

Watersports Advisory: You should carefully assess the potential risks inherent in recreational water activities and measure your participation in them against your physical capabilities and skills. Never venture out alone, particularly at isolated beaches or far out to sea. Avoid entering the water above your waist if you have been drinking and always be mindful of jet ski traffic in the area. When in doubt, stay out!   

Criminal Penalties: Persons violating local laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs or firearms are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law.  For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, request that the police or prison officials  notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Firearms: Firearms entry restrictions may exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Saint Lucia. Please contact the Embassy of Saint Lucia before you travel.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers: Consensual same-sex sexual activity is illegal under indecency statues, and some same-sex sexual activity between men is also illegal under anal intercourse laws. Indecency statutes carry a maximum penalty of five years, and a sodomy conviction carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. No legislation protects persons from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our   Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Access to buildings, pedestrian paths and transportation is extremely difficult for persons with disabilities. Sidewalks (if they exist) are very uneven and will only occasionally have ramps at intersections. Pedestrian crossings are also very infrequent and can be poorly marked. Buses and taxis do not have special accommodations for disabled persons.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not apply overseas and that doctors and hospital will expect immediate cash payment for health services.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

Medical facilities in Saint Lucia do not meet U.S. standards. Victoria Hospital is in Castries (Tel No. (758) 452-2421). St. Jude’s Hospital is in Vieux Fort (Tel No. (758) 454-6041). Tapion Hospital is in Castries (Tel No. (758) 459-2000). This hospital has an operational hyperbaric chamber. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.

Zika Virus: Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact. The CDC has concluded that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in some fetuses and babies born to infected mothers. For additional information about Zika, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website.

Chikungunya and dengue fever are present on the island. Travelers should carry and use CDC recommended insect repellents.

Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Continue reading

Comments Off on St. Lucia

20 castles where you can spend the night

      

 

 

Continue reading

Posted in USA Today | Tagged , , | Comments Off on 20 castles where you can spend the night

JetBlue plans to expand in Worcester

New route to New York JFK contingent on airport upgrade expected to be finished by year’s end.

      

 

 

Continue reading

Posted in USA Today | Tagged , | Comments Off on JetBlue plans to expand in Worcester

Federated States of Micronesia

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) for additional information on U.S. – FSM relations.

You will need a U.S. passport valid for at least 180 days from the time of entry, a completed FSM Immigration Arrival and Departure Record (FSM Form 5004), and a completed FSM Customs Form in order to enter the FSM. Your air carrier will distribute the FSM Immigration Arrival and Departure Record and Customs Form before you arrive into the FSM.  U.S. citizens may enter the FSM to live, work or study indefinitely without visas or non-citizen registration requirements. There is no limit to the length of time U.S. citizens can remain in the FSM.

All four states have a 20 USD departure fee that you must pay when you leave each island. Please make sure you have cash available, as credit cards are not accepted and ATM machines are not available at any of the airports.  Visit the Embassy of the Federated States of Micronesia website for the most current information.

HIV/AIDS Restrictions:  The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to the FSM.

Information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction, and customs regulations is available on our website.

CRIME: Most crime in the FSM is petty theft motivated by opportunity and impulse.  However, crime rates are significantly higher in Chuuk than in the other states, and have recently included assaults on U.S. citizens.  Sexual assaults occur, but your risk can be reduced if you take basic security precautions.  Do not attempt to intervene in disputes between local citizens.  Local police are less responsive to victim concerns compared to norms in the United States, particularly in cases involving burglaries.  Local police may not possess the resources to prosecute crimes.

To remain safe:

  • exercise extreme caution at all times
  • be alert to any unusual activity around your home or business
  • stay off the streets after dark
  • drive with the car windows closed and doors locked
  • Report any suspicious incidents to local police
  • ensure that the hotel where you stay is prepared to assist you in an emergency
  • women should travel in groups and walk in well-lit areas
  • exercise caution when diving in Yap harbor or Chuuk lagoon

Unexploded ordnance from World War II remains in some areas.  It is dangerous, as well as illegal, to remove “souvenirs” from sunken WWII vessels and aircraft.

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police at 320-2221 for Pohnpei and 911 on all other islands.  The numbers for fire assistance are 330-2222 (Chuuk), 370-3333 (Kosrae), 320-2223 (Pohnpei), and 350-3333 (Yap).  Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

The capacity of local police and fire departments throughout the FSM is extremely limited. There is often a significant delay for police and firefighters to respond to calls, and they may not be able to respond at all.  Often, no one picks up when dialing emergency numbers, especially after normal business hours.

The capacity to investigate crimes is extremely limited and victims may wait months for an arrest, if ever.  The justice system of the FSM is extremely slow and customary legal standards may not be applied.  Court-appointed attorneys, as well as judges presiding over cases, may not have legal training comparable to that found in the United States. 

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical
  • support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

CRIMINAL PENALTIES: You are subject to local laws.  If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Public drunkeness is a felony in Yap.  Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs, including marijuana, in the FSM are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See our following webpages for details:

LGBT Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBT events in the FSM, however Micronesian society is still very conservative and the LGBT community remains very discreet in general.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Accessibility and accommodation is vastly different from what you find in the United States.  Neither laws nor regulations mandate accessibility to public facilities, services, or accomodations for persons with disabilities. There are few sidewalks in the FSM. There is no public transportation. Taxis are run by independent operators that make no provision for people with disabilities. The national Department of Health and Social Services is responsible for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities; however, action is rarely taken to enforce these measures.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers:  See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Special Circumstances:

FSM customs authorities charge import taxes on cigarettes, tobacco, alcohol, gasoline, and other personal items that exceed the amounts allowed.  All imports can be physically inspected by customs officials.  Strict quarantine regulations restrict entry of plant and animal products.  You should contact the Embassy of the FSM in Washington, D.C., or one of the FSM consulates in Honolulu or Guam for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Health care facilities in the FSM consist of state-run hospitals on each of the four major islands and a few scattered clinics.  These facilities lack advanced supplies and medicines, and the quality of health care is low.  Doctors and hospitals expect immediate cash payment for health services. Medical evacuation assistance for non-ambulatory patients will take a minimum of 12 hours to arrive and can be expensive. There are no daily commercial flights, and flights often sell out, so finding last-minute seats is difficult.  Scuba divers should note that although there are decompression chambers in Yap, Chuuk, and Pohnpei, they are generally not in working order, and local staff may not have adequate experience in treating diving injuries.                                  

We do not pay medical bills.  Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas.  Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments.  See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance  to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Micronesia to ensure the medication is legal in Micronesia.  Always, carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

The following diseases are prevelant:

  •  Leptospirosis

Vaccinations:  Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Zika Virus: Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact.  The CDC has concluded that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in some fetuses and babies born to infected mothers.  For additional information about Zika, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website.

For further health information, go to:

Continue reading

Comments Off on Federated States of Micronesia