|Still current at: 16 July 2012|
Updated: 16 July 2012
|No restrictions in this travel advice||Avoid all but essential travel to part(s) of country||Avoid all but essential travel to whole country||Avoid all travel to part(s) of country||Avoid all travel to whole country|
This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an editorial amendment to the Safety and Security - Road Travel section (cost of local driving permit), the addition of an Entry Requirements Emergency Travel Documents section and further, minor editorial amendments. The overall level of the advice has not changed; there are no travel restrictions in place in St Lucia.
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 areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.
Around 67,417 British nationals visited St Lucia in 2010 (Source: St Lucia Tourist Board). Most visits are trouble-free. See General - Consular Assistance Statistics.
There are incidents of violent crime including murder. Crimes include muggings and thefts from hotels, yachts or holiday homes and there have been a number of serious assaults involving visitors. See Safety and Security - Crime.
You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. See General - Insurance.
Safety and Security - 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 areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. See our Terrorism Abroad page.
Safety and Security - Crime
Around 67,000 British nationals visited St Lucia in 2010 (Source: St Lucia Tourist Board).
Incidents of violent crime, including murder tend to occur within the local community but can sometimes affect tourists. The St Lucian authorities are working with the tourism industry to maintain a safe environment for visitors and. Nevertheless, muggings and thefts from hotels, yachts or holiday homes do occur, and are occasionally accompanied by violence, and there have been a number of serious assaults involving tourists and residents in recent years. See our page for women travellers. There have been armed robberies at waterfalls in the Anse La Raye area in the past and these sites should be avoided.
Maintain at least the same level of security awareness as you would in the UK and ensure that your living accommodation is secure. Apply the same measures if you are staying on a yacht. Avoid walking alone in isolated areas, including beaches, after dark and only camp out in large groups. Take particular care at popular late night street parties and "jump-ups". Be extremely cautious about accepting lifts and use only licensed taxis. Do not carry large amounts of cash and jewellery. Valuables and travel documents should be left, where possible, in safety deposit boxes or hotel safes. If staying in a residential/holiday villa, take precautions to secure your valuables, and lock doors and windows.
See our Victims of Crime Abroad page.
Safety and Security - Road Travel
You can hire self-drive cars. However, you will require your full UK licence in order to purchase a local driving permit, which costs EC$54/US$22. Motorists drive on the left in Saint Lucia. Most roads are narrow by UK standards and in varying states of repair. In mountainous areas roads can be extremely steep and have sharp hairpin bends, some of which are not clearly marked. Four-wheel drive vehicles with automatic gearboxes are popular, and in some areas essential. Driving standards are variable and you should negotiate roundabouts with extreme care. It is common for pedestrians to flag down vehicles in an attempt to get a lift. You should not stop to do so. It is advisable to keep car doors locked when driving. Care should be taken on a number of roads including the main east coast road to and from Hewanorra International Airport, which is still being repaired following damage during Hurricane Tomas in October 2010.
There are regular mini bus services, which provide relatively cheap, but sometimes dangerously fast, travel between all main towns. Standard taxi fares exist for most destinations but you should clarify the fare with the driver before the beginning of the journey. See our Driving Abroad page.
Safety and Security - Political Situation
St Lucia Country Profile
There are severe penalties for all drug offences. A number of British nationals have been arrested for trafficking of cocaine. Pack all luggage yourself and do not carry anything through customs for anyone else.
It is an offence for anyone, including children, to dress in camouflage clothing.
Certain homosexual acts are illegal under Saint Lucian laws. See our Your Trip page.
Entry Requirements - Visas
British Passport holders do not need visas to enter Saint Lucia for visits up to 42 days. It is an offence to stay beyond 42 days without permission from the local immigration authorities. It is also an offence to take any form of paid employment without a work permit.
Entry Requirements - Passports
You must hold a valid passport to enter St Lucia. Your passport must be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of entry into St Lucia.
Entry Requirements - Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from St Lucia.
Entry Requirements - Bringing produce into St Lucia
If you wish to bring meat or plant products into Saint Lucia you must obtain a licence in advance from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Contact your GP around eight 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, and useful information about healthcare abroad, including a country-by-country guide of reciprocal health care agreements with the UK, is available from NHS Choices.
Medical treatment can be very expensive and serious cases are transferred overseas (usually to Miami or Martinique) incurring air ambulance costs. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
In the event of a medical evacuation to Martinique, you may be entitled to emergency medical treatment on the same terms as residents of Martinique if you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which was issued in the UK or France. The EHIC provides emergency health cover for treatment in Martinique by the French state health service for which you will have to pay but for which you will be able to claim back up to 70% of the costs on your return to the UK. See our EHIC page.
Exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS. See our HIV and AIDS page.
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.
Our Travel Health pages offer further advice on how to stay healthy when overseas.
Natural Disasters - Hurricanes
The hurricane season in the Caribbean normally runs from June to November. You should monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation and the US National Hurricane Center. For more general information see Tropical cyclones page.
General - Insurance
You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance, which includes medical evacuation by air ambulance, before travelling. Check for any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake. See our Travel Insurance page.
If things do go wrong when you are overseas see our When Things Go Wrong page.
General - Registration
Register with our LOCATE service to tell us when and where you are travelling abroad or where you live abroad so our consular and crisis staff can provide better assistance to you in an emergency.
General - ID
Keep a copy of the photo page of your passport and relevant entry stamp in case your documents are stolen.
General - Departure tax
Departure tax is included within the price of the airline ticket.
General - Luggage allowances
Most airlines will allow passengers to check two pieces of luggage on transatlantic flights. However, local inter-island flights will generally only allow one piece at 20kg. You may therefore wish to confirm baggage entitlements with your airline if you are travelling between islands.
General - Passport
Keep a copy of the photopage of your passport and relevant entry stamp in case your documents are stolen.
The passport service for British nationals in Saint Lucia has now moved from Barbados to the UK Passport Service Centre for the Americas and Caribbean in Washington D.C. (http://ukinusa.fco.gov.uk/passports).
If you are applying for a renewal of your UK passport and you are in Saint Lucia, your application, with the appropriate passport fee plus a return courier fee, should be sent direct to:
The UK Passport Service for the Americas and Caribbean
19 Observatory Circle, NW
Washington, DC 20008
The British High Commission in St Lucia will continue to issue Emergency Passports for people who have lost their passports and who have an urgent need to travel to the UK.
General - Money
Although the official currency is the East Caribbean Dollar (EC$), most tourist establishments will also accept US dollars and will quote prices in either, or both, currency. Make sure you know which currency you are being quoted. ATM machines are readily available in main towns and accept UK credit/debit cards.
General - Consular Assistance Statistics
15 British nationals required consular assistance in St Lucia in the period 01 April 2010 – 31 March 2011 for the following types of incident: one death; nine hospitalisations; and one arrest.