COUNTRY DESCRIPTION ^
St. Kitts and Nevis is a developing Caribbean nation consisting of two islands. Tourist facilities are widely available.
The Embassy in Bridgetown has received an increasing number of reports of crimes against U.S. citizens, including armed robbery, sexual assault and burglary. Although many of the major resort hotels provide additional security, U.S. citizens should exercise caution outside these areas. Valuables left unattended in public places are vulnerable to theft.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES ^
While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating St. Kitts and Nevis laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in St. Kitts and Nevis are strict and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
MEDICAL FACILITIES ^
Medical care is limited. There are three general hospitals on St. Kitts, and one on Nevis. Both islands have several health clinics. Neither island has a hyperbaric chamber. Divers suffering from decompression illness are transported to the island of Saba, in the Netherlands Antilles. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the U.S. can cost thousands of dollars or more. Doctors and hospitals expect immediate cash payment for health services.
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS ^
All Caribbean countries can be affected by hurricanes. The hurricane season normally runs from June to the end of November, but there have been hurricanes in December in recent years. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS ^
While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning St. Kitts and Nevis is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Good
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
Traffic in St. Kitts and Nevis moves on the left-hand side of the road. The maximum speed limit in the island is 40 MPH, dropping to 25 MPH in villages. Roads are sometimes poorly marked.
Yield to traffic coming from the right at roundabouts. Drivers should maintain a moderate speed and be sure to keep well to the left on corners. It is courteous to blow the car horn on blind corners. Drivers often stop on the side of or in the middle of the road to visit with other drivers, blocking one lane of traffic. Honking one's horn is a common form of greeting, not a warning.
Rented vehicles are available from several agencies in both St. Kitts and Nevis. Travelers are required to obtain a visitor's drivers license, which may be obtained from the Traffic Department or the Fire Station on presentation of a valid home or international license.
Public Transportation consists of mini-buses and taxis. Established fares are available from airport dispatchers and local hotels. Complaints regarding taxi or minibus services may be lodged with The Department of Tourism or with your hotel.
More detailed information on roads and traffic safety can be obtained from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Environment, Bay Road, Pelican Mall, P.O. Box 132, Basse Terre, St. Kitts, telephone (869) 647-8970.
For additional general information about road safety, including links to foreign government sites, see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at
For specific information concerning St. Kitts and Nevis driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the St. Kitts and Nevis national tourist organization offices in New York via the Internet at
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT ^
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis ' Civil Aviation Authority as Category 2 �- not in compliance with international aviation safety standards for the oversight of St. Kitts and Nevis ' air carrier operations. While consultations to correct the deficiencies are ongoing, the St. Kitts and Nevis air carriers currently flying to the U.S. will be subject to heightened FAA surveillance. No additional flights or new service to the U.S. by St. Kitts and Nevis ' air carriers will be permitted unless they arrange to have the flights conducted by an air carrier from a country meeting international safety standards.
For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA's Internet website at
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. In addition, DOD does not permit its personnel to use air carriers from Category 2 countries for official business except for flights originating from or terminating in the U.S. Local exceptions may apply. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact DOD at (618) 229-4801.
Please also refer to the separate Worldwide Caution Public Announcement.
March 4, 2004