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Foreign advisories clobber Trinidad and Tobago

Gail Alexander, Guardian Trinidad and Tobago  Feb 12, 2009

Governments of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are maintaining strong travel advisories on crime in T&T - and two have also included warnings on yellow fever. The advisories posted on the Internet remain current. The Foreign and Commonwealth office of the UK and the Australian authorities included amendments in their current advisories on the yellow fever situation.

The UK advisory noted reports of a yellow fever outbreak amongst monkey populations in local, rural forested areas. "There has been a marked increase in the number of reported cases in Trinidad in 2008," the advisory stated. The Australian advisory also stated that T&T's Health Ministry issued a yellow fever alert following the recent death of monkeys in forested areas.

It also urged vaccination for travellers, and states: "T&T is considered an endemic country for the mosquito-borne illness, yellow fever. Although there have been no recent human cases, the yellow fever virus may be present in animals and can be transmitted by mosquitoes to humans."


• Attacks involving firearms on tourists at tourism sites including Ft George, the Pitch Lake and car parks of supermarkets, malls, nightclubs, restaurants and businesses.
• High level of gang related violence and crime in Trinidad. Incidents concentrated in inner-city neighbourhoods, east of Port-of-Spain particularly Laventille, Morvant and Barataria , but can occur in other areas.

• Incidents of armed robbers trailing arriving passengers from the airport and accosting them outside their gates.
• Areas to avoid in Trinidad include "Laventille, Morvant, Sea Lots, South Belmont, scenic sites, walking across the Queen's Park Savannah and downtown Port-of-Spain after dark as tourists are vulnerable to pick-pocketing and armed assaults in these locations
• In Tobago the media have reported an increase in violent crimes. Visitors should ensure 24 hours security at private Tobago accommodation. There have been reports of invasions in Mt Irvine area and robberies on isolated beaches.

• Crime levels are high "particularly in Port-of-Spain, San Fernando and other urban areas of Trinidad."
• Cruise ship passengers should take particular care when walking around the docks in POS.
• Noted incidents of gangs following cars leaving Piarco Airport and robbing travellers on reaching their destinations have been reported.
n Deserted beaches, unpopulated areas should be avoided especially after dark.

• Noted daylight attacks at tourist sites including Fort George in Trinidad, "in car parks, supermarkets and shopping malls."
• Public transport such as maxi taxis should be avoided in favour of safer means of transport.

• Noted an underlying threat from terrorism.
• Noted incidents of violent crime from rape to murder "are increasing", also cited reports of tourists being robbed at gunpoint in downtown Port-of-Spain, kidnappings in T&T between 2002- 2005 .
• Noted 2005 T&T bombings "believed to be domestically motivated."

Foreign advisories clobber Trinidad and Tobago

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