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Haiti

If you’re travelling to Haiti, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Get travel and medical insurance

Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.

Overview

Security status

We advise Irish citizens in Haiti to exercise a high degree of caution.

Latest travel alert

Extreme Weather in the Caribbean Region

The Atlantic hurricane season generally runs from June to November each year and can also affect the eastern and southern USA with heavy rain, flooding and extremely high winds.

Citizens with plans to be in the affected region during this period should consider the need to travel based on information relating to extreme weather projections. 

Hurricane Maria is currently heading across the Caribbean Sea as a category 5 storm towards Montserrat, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico after causing widespread damage on the island of Dominica.

Winds of up to 160mph (260km/h) and heavy rains were recorded in Dominca late on Monday as the eye of the hurricane passed. A tracking forecast has indicated that the eye of Hurricane Maria will move over the north-eastern Caribbean Sea on Tuesday, and approach the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Tuesday night and Wednesday.

The storm will continue moving toward Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as a strong Category 4 or a Category 5 and is not expected to diminish in strength.

Hurricane Irma passed over the Caribbean on 7 to 10 September causing severe flooding and damage to buildings and infrastructure across the region, including popular tourist areas. Some areas may still be without mains water supply or electricity, so extra care is needed during hours of darkness. Airports have reopened and flights have resumed but there may be delays.

You should continue to follow the advice of the local authorities and your hotel or tour operator.

If you have a holiday booked for a future date you should liaise with your tour operator or contact your hotel to check if there has been any damage/whether the hotel is open and functional. There may be problems with utilities and services for the foreseeable future while the recovery is underway.

There is currently an outbreak of Zika Virus (a dengue-like mosquito-borne disease) in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Irish Citizens are advised to follow guidance available on the website of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) at http://www.hpsc.ie/A-Z/Vectorborne/Zika/.

Emergency assistance

Because there is no Irish Embassy or Consulate in the Haiti, we are limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency situation.  However, if there is an emergency, or if you need help and advice, you can contact our Consular Assistance Unit at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin on +353 1 408 2000.

Other EU embassies

You can also contact the Embassies or Consulates of other EU countries for emergency consular assistance, advice and support.

Our tips for safe travels

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates
  • Read our Topical ‘Know Before You Go’ guide

 

Safety and security

Social unrest

The security situation in Haiti is uncertain. Things can deteriorate quickly and dangerous incidents can happen. You should avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, which can sometimes turn confrontational, and always keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or local contacts. 

Kidnapping

Foreign nationals are potential targets for kidnapping so you should take particular care when travelling in Haiti:

  • Get advice from your local contacts about staying safe
  • Avoid travelling at night, particularly inter-city
  • Avoid travelling alone
  • When driving, ensure all car doors are locked
  • Vary your routes and departure times – avoid patterns which could be tracked
  • Pay careful attention to local media for reports of kidnapping activities

Crime

There is a high risk of crime within Haiti, including armed robberies, burglaries, attacks on vehicles and murder. You should be vigilant when travelling to or within Haiti and follow some basic safety precautions:

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place. 
  • Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
  • Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you are alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
  • Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafes, train and bus stations.
  • Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.

Reporting a crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Haiti, report it to the local police immediately.

Hurricane season

The hurricane season in the Caribbean normally runs from July to October. You should pay close attention to local and international weather reports and follow the advice of local authorities. Always monitor local and international weather updates for the region by accessing, for example, the Weather Channel, or the US National Hurricane Centre website.

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal.

Health

Vaccinations

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for this country.

Entry requirements

Visa/Passport

If you are unsure of the entry requirements for this country, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the country’s nearest Embassy or Consulate.

You can also check with them how long your passport must be valid for.