DE RUEHWN #1915 3041314
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 311314Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 3618
UNCLAS BRIDGETOWN 001915
DEPT FOR WHA/CAR
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: KHIV SENV OTRA BB XL SUBJECT: COUNTRY CLEARANCE GRANTED TO L. ELDRED TO TRAVEL TO BARBADOS
REF: SECSTATE 179897
1. Embassy Bridgetown welcomes and grants clearance to Lois J. Eldred, Director Global AIDS Program, HRSA, to travel to Barbados from November 13-18, 2006. The purpose of this trip is to be a keynote speaker at a Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Center meeting.
2. Embassy understands that no assistance is requested. Ms. Eldred will stay at the Accra Beach Hotel, (246) 435-8920.
3. Entry/departure requirements: Mission policy is that all USG travellers to the region be in possession of a valid passport. Visas are not required for short visits. Visitors are granted up to 28 days upon entry, which can be extended through the Barbados Immigration Department for up to six months. Barbados has a departure tax of 25 Barbados Dollars (BDS) of 13 U.S. Dollars (USD).
4. The exchange rate is a constant BDS$2.00 to USD$1. U.S. currency, travelers' checks, and credit cards are routinely and widely accepted.
5. The following is general information pertaining to security and health considerations throughout the Eastern Caribbean:
In the Eastern Caribbean, foot travel outside of well-established tourist areas is not generally recommended, especially at night. Be vigilant when using public telephones or ATM facilities near roadsides or quiet areas. As in many U.S. metropolitan areas, wearing expensive jewelry, carrying expensive objects, or carrying large amounts of cash should be avoided. Visitors should also safeguard valuables while at the beach. While hotels are generally safe, many visitors have experienced loss of unattended items. Hotel burglaries are not uncommon and all valuables should be locked in room safes if possible.
Throughout the Eastern Caribbean, the most likely threat to a visitor's health is sunburn. It takes several weeks to become accustomed to the heat and humidity. Prolonged exposure to the sun, without protection, causes sunburn, and may ultimately result in sun-damaged skin or even skin cancer. Sunscreens should be used for protection. In Barbados, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent, the major health threat is dengue fever, transmitted by the aedes aegypti mosquito. Dengue cases are most often seen in the summer months. Persons should therefore protect themselves with insect repellent. There is also a growing number of HIV/AIDS cases reported. The Eastern Caribbean enjoys clean and safe drinking water. Only routine boosters for immunizations (i.e. tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis and oral polio vaccine) are required when traveling to this region. Barbados has the best medical facilities of all the islands in the region and most of the medical specialties have practitioners here.