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The hurricane season normally runs from June to November in the Caribbean. New Zealanders are advised to monitor local and international weather reports to keep up to date with developments. If staying in a hotel follow the guidance of hotel management or your tour operator. Otherwise, heed any instructions issued by the local authorities. Do not go outdoors during a hurricane and remain well away from the sea. For further information, including on the likely path of a hurricane, visit http://www.nhc.noaa.gov.
Drug and firearm related crimes are a serious problem in the Caribbean. Penalties for drug related offences are severe, including those for the possession of marijuana. Public nudity and indecent language can lead to arrest and it is illegal to wear camouflage style clothing in many Caribbean countries.
New Zealanders travelling or resident in the Caribbean should hold comprehensive medical and travel insurance policies that include provision for medical evacuation by air. In some Caribbean countries medical facilities can be limited and may not be up to New Zealand standards. There may be a need for medical evacuation to the United States or elsewhere in cases of serious accident or illness. Check that your insurance policy covers you for all eventualities.
Dengue fever is endemic to the Caribbean. There has been a marked increase in the number of reported cases of dengue across the region since 2007. See our health section for further information.
There is an increased, global risk of terrorism. No country is immune from a terrorist attack, and no person is immune from becoming a victim of an attack. Terrorists have little regard for civilian casualties and in many cases, attacks are designed to maximise casualties.
Although New Zealand travellers are unlikely to be targeted deliberately, they are usually indistinguishable from any “western” tourist, and frequent places where other western tourists are found. This puts New Zealanders at the same risk as others.
Wherever you are, you should keep yourself informed about the latest alerts and stay aware of your surroundings in areas where large numbers of people congregate, such as shopping malls, markets, monuments, demonstrations and on any public transport.
Page last updated: Friday, 22 June 2012, 11:47 NZST