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Turks and caicos islands
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Latest travel advice for Turks and Caicos Islands including safety and security, entry requirements, travel warnings and health

2017-02-03T17:07:22.779+00:00: Latest update: this advice has been reviewed and re-issued without amendment

The Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory. There is no formal British diplomatic representation and the local authorities deal with all requests for emergency assistance. See Emergency assistance.

The hurricane season in the Caribbean normally runs from June to November. You should monitor the progress of storms and follow the advice of the local authorities. See Natural disasters

UK health authorities have classified Turks and Caicos Islands as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

There is a low threat from terrorism. See Terrorism

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

Safety and security

Crime

Levels of crime are relatively low. The level of crime on Providenciales, the first point of arrival into the Turks and Caicos Islands for most visitors and the territory’s economic hub, is higher than on the other islands where incidences of serious crime are rare. Most crime tends to be as a result of opportunistic burglary and theft, although an increase in the incidence of more serious robberies has been reported recently. There have also been a number of armed robberies. Victims of robberies may suffer injuries if they resist.

Safeguard your possessions and take normal precautions to ensure your personal safety. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and valuables. Take particular care of your passport as this can’t be replaced locally. Use hotel safety deposit facilities where possible.

See the Turks and Caicos crime-stoppers website for more crime prevention tips.

Local travel

If you go to isolated spots or remote islands, or go diving/snorkelling, leave details of your trip and an expected time of return with a friend, relative, or hotel receptionist. Avoid isolated spots at night.

Standard taxi fares exist for most destinations on the principal islands. Charges may be applied per person. Clarify the fare with the driver before beginning a journey.

Road travel

You can drive using a British Driving Licence or an International Driving Permit for a period of one month. After this you should get a local licence from the Department of Road Safety.

Most hire cars and jeeps are left-hand drive. Remember to drive on the left. Observe speed limits (20mph in town, and 40mph elsewhere). Don’t drink and drive. Use seat belts on all journeys. Accidents, sometimes serious, are on the increase on the Leeward Highway (Providenciales), especially at night.

Emergency assistance

The Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory so does not have formal British consular representation. All emergency assistance needed by British nationals is delivered by the Turks and Caicos Islands government.

If you’re a victim of crime, contact the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police on 911.

Birth, Death and Marriage registration enquiries: Telephone: + (649) 946 2801

Email: bcl@gov.tc Immigration, passport and visa enquiries: Check the Ministry of Border Control and Labour website

Visit the One Stop Shop, Three Degrees, Grand Turk Telephone: + (649) 946 2801

Terrorism

There is a low threat from terrorism, but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be in public places, including those visited by foreigners.

There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.

Local laws and customs

The Turks and Caicos Islands is a separate legal jurisdiction to the United Kingdom and has its own laws.

Don’t become involved with drugs of any kind. There are severe penalties for possession of even a small quantity.

Homosexuality is legal under Turks and Caicos Islands’ law. There’s no provision for marriage or civil partnerships between same sex couples. Attitudes in the main tourist destination of Providenciales are tolerant. Throughout Turks and Caicos, hotels and resorts are generally welcoming regardless of sexual orientation. Outside the tourist areas local attitudes can be conservative and some people may not approve of public displays of affection between same sex couples.

Entry requirements

Visas

Visas are not required if you have a valid UK Passport. The Turks and Caicos Islands Immigration department will normally give you permission to stay for up to 90 days. You will need a permit to work on any of the islands.

For more information on visa requirements, visit the website of the Turks and Caicos Islands Ministry of Border Control and Employment.

Passport Validity

You must hold a valid passport to enter Turks and Caicos. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Turks and Caicos.

Customs regulations

There are restrictions on the import and export of agricultural, food and marine products. Before arrival, all flight passengers will be asked to complete a form providing details of products they are bringing into the country. This form should be handed to a customs official on arrival.

There are no restrictions for travellers on the import of cameras, film or sports equipment. To bring in firearms of any type (including spear guns and Hawaiian slings), you will need written approval from the Commissioner of Police.

Travelling with medicines Any controlled drugs must be accompanied by a doctor’s prescription. Keep all medication in original packaging to avoid confusion and questioning at ports of entry.

Natural disasters

The hurricane season in the Caribbean normally runs from June to November. You should monitor the progress of storms on the website of the US National Hurricane Centre and follow the advice of the local authorities. Direct hits are, historically, rare. Hotel management and local radio stations will pass on government advice if a hurricane is forecast.

See our tropical cyclones page for advice about what to do if you are caught up in a storm.

Health

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.

UK health authorities have classified Turks and Caicos Islands as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

Cases of Chikunyunga virus have been confirmed in the Turks and Caicos Islands and the number of reported cases in the region is increasing. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. For more details about this outbreak, see the website of the National Health Network and Centre .

There are hospital facilities on Providenciales and Grand Turk, both operated by Interhealth Canada. They provide a range of services including diagnostic services, primary care and outpatient specialty clinics, emergency services and inpatient care. Serious cases are still referred overseas, usually to Miami or Nassau. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 911 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Travel advice help and support

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London on 020 7008 1500 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send us a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

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