Places in St Vincent and the Grenadines
Petit St Vincent
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Petit St Vincent

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St Vincent and the Grenadines Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

389 sq km (150 sq miles).

Population

109,644 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density

263.8 per sq km.

Capital

Kingstown.

Government

Constitutional monarachy.

Head of state

Queen Elizabeth II since 1952, represented locally by Governor-General Susan Dougan since 2019.

Head of government

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves since 2001.

Electricity

220/240 volts AC, 50Hz (except Petit St Vincent and Palm Island which use 110 volts AC, 60Hz and American-style plugs with two flat pins). British-style plugs with three square pins are used everywhere else.

Scattered across the Caribbean Sea like so many emeralds, St Vincent & the Grenadines is a glorious-looking archipelago. The country’s name makes it sound like an old soul band, and aptly there’s something timeless about the place. Lush mountain peaks, white sands, secluded coves, volcanic landscapes and spectacular coral reefs all go towards making this one of the region’s most diverse spots. For hikers, sailors and those who just fancy kicking back in wave-lapped sunshine for a week or two, it’s some proposition.

The country, which found Hollywood fame when it was used as a setting for the Pirates of the Caribbean films, is made up of 32 islands and cays. St Vincent itself is by far the largest, and has a laid-back capital city, Kingstown, to show for it. Colonial architecture, botanical gardens and a fish market are among the attractions. The latter hints at the dishes that dominate the archipelago’s food scene – fresh seafood, usually washed down with a cold Hairoun beer, is a speciality. Elsewhere on St Vincent there’s some fantastic walking to be had, most notably the trail that leads up to La Soufrière volcano.

The smaller islands that make up the Grenadines offer an even quieter pace of life. Among the most appealing spots are Bequia, which has good claim to that overused adage “the Caribbean as it used to be,” and Mustique, a long-established A-list bolthole that has welcomed the likes of Mick Jagger, Kate Moss and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The best way to experience the outlying islands is to hop between them by boat, and the country as a whole has near-legendary status in the yachting community. The most obvious focal point on a sailing trip is the stupendously scenic Tobago Cays, which is made up of five uninhabited islands and offers excellent potential for divers and snorkelers.

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for St Vincent and the Grenadines on the TravelHealthPro website.

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements

Returning to the UK

Travelling from and returning to the UK

Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting. If you will pass through a red list country, book your hotel quarantine package before travelling to the UK.

You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements. You should contact local authorities for information on testing facilities.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Travel in St Vincent and the Grenadines

Coronavirus related restrictions have remained steady. Mask-wearing, standard hygiene measures and social distancing are all strongly recommended. You are also required to wear face-masks and use sanitizer in taxis and minibuses, shops and in government buildings.

The St Vincent and the Grenadines authorities will seek to prosecute people who breach COVID-19 protocols, including those who break quarantine protocols, which may result in a fine and/or prison sentence.

Accommodation

Most hotels and private rentals have re-opened to the public. If making a booking, you should check whether there are any coronavirus restrictions or protocols to observe.

Public places and services

There are no lockdowns or curfews but mask wearing is now widespread and other measures to protect against the spread of COVID-19 were introduced, including relating to how many people can gather at private or public events such as weddings, unerals or church services; and how many people private minibus taxi services are allowed to carry. Most, if not all, shops, businesses or public offices require customers to wear face masks, to wash or sanitize hands before entry, and to adhere to 3-6 feet space markings when queuing. The ‘Gathering Rules’ and other important COVID protocols are available from the Ministry of Health and the Environment.

Healthcare

For contact details of English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health.

View Health for further details on healthcare in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The St Vincent and the Grenadines Emergency Medical Service is asking the public to call the COVID-19 inquiries hotline on (+1 784) 534 4325 or e-mail coronavirustaskforcesvg@gmail.com if they suspect they might have contracted the virus, been exposed to it, or any other matters relating to the virus. Travellers requiring exit screening COVID-19 PCR tests are asked to utilize the services of private laboratories.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in St Vincent and the Grenadines

We will update this page when the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.

St Vincent and the Grenadines’ national vaccination programme started in February 2021 and is using the AstraZeneca, Sputnik V and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. The Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines has stated that British nationals resident in St Vincent and the Grenadines are eligible for vaccination if they choose to join the programme. The St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Ministry of Health is strongly encouraging all residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Most clinics across the country are now offering the vaccine free of charge.

Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.

If you’re a British national living in St Vincent and the Grenadines, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.

Crime

Most visits are trouble-free, but there have been incidents of crime including murder, robbery and assault.

You should maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as you would in the UK and make sure your accommodation is secure. This also applies if you are staying on a yacht. Be vigilant at all times. Take care when walking alone off the busy main roads and avoid isolated areas, including beaches, particularly after dark.

Only use licensed taxis and take particular care at late night street parties, especially during the festival season.

Don’t carry large amounts of cash or jewellery. If possible, leave valuables and travel documents in a safety deposit box or hotel safe. You should check that the hotel safe is securely fixed before using it to store your items.

Road travel

Driving is on the left. To drive on the island you must get a local temporary driving licence. The car hire companies will usually assist with this process. You must present a valid UK driving licence.

Take care when driving on the roads as there can be potholes and speed bumps. Observe the speed limits. You should take extra care on minor roads and in rural areas where there are narrow roads and blind corners. Pedestrians often walk on the roads and indicators are not always used.

Take extra care when driving at night as some roads are unlit. Road signs and hazards may not be easily visible.

Don’t stop if you’re flagged down by pedestrians. Keep car doors locked when driving.

In the event of an accident, call the police and don’t move the vehicle.

Taxis aren’t metered. Standard taxi fares exist for most destinations. Agree the fare in local currency with the driver before you set off. You can often pay in US dollars as well as EC dollars.

Public transport is available and cheaper. Minibus drivers might drive above the speed limit.

Air travel

You can find a list of recent incidents and accidents on the website of the Aviation Safety network.

The FCDO can’t offer advice on the safety of individual airlines. However, the International Air Transport Association publishes lists of registered airlines that have been audited and found to meet a number of operational safety standards and recommended practices – IATA Operational Safety Audit and IATA Standard Safety Assessment. These lists aren’t exhaustive and the absence of an airline from this list doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s unsafe.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation has carried out an audit of the level of implementation of the critical elements of safety oversight in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Swimming

Take great care at all times when swimming as currents can be deceptively strong and not all beaches have lifeguards and/or warning flags. You should monitor all beaches carefully and obey any local warnings.

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in St Vincent and the Grenadines, attacks can’t be ruled out.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

There’s 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.

There are severe penalties for all drug offences. Pack your own luggage and do not carry anything through customs for anyone else.

It is an offence for anyone, including children, to dress in camouflage clothing.

Local attitudes towards the LGBT community are mostly conservative throughout the Caribbean. Public displays of affection (such as hand-holding or kissing) between opposite or same-sex couples are uncommon. Certain homosexual acts are illegal. LGBT travellers should be mindful of local attitudes and be aware that public displays of affection may attract unwanted and negative attention. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in St Vincent and the Grenadines set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to. You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

The entry requirements into St Vincent and the Grenadines vary depending upon country of origin and are subject to review or change on a regular basis. You should always consult the St Vincent and the Grenadines’ entry protocol documents for the full and latest information.

Fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers to St. Vincent and the Grenadines must arrive with a negative SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR COVID-19 test result. That this should not be from a ‘rapid PCR test’ which some companies in the UK are now offering, but the standard version. Rapid PCR tests are currently not accepted in St. Vincent or the Grenadines or, if transiting, Barbados.

You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.

There is one direct (with a short layover remaining on the plane in Barbados) commercial flight from the UK to St Vincent and the Grenadines – Virgin Atlantic on Wednesdays and Sundays from London Heathrow to Argyle International Airport on St Vincent. If a non-direct option via a transit country (eg Barbados) is used, entry requirements may well be different to those of St Vincent and the Grenadines. You are advised to check and respect the requirements of the country through which you are transiting en route to St Vincent and the Grenadines before you travel.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

British passport holders don’t need a visa to visit St Vincent and the Grenadines.

On entry, you will be granted a specified period to stay. If you wish to stay longer, you must apply and pay for an extension of stay through the St Vincent Immigration Department.

It’s an offence to overstay the entry period or to work without a work permit.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into St Vincent.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Entry requirements may change from time to time. You should check with the St Vincent High Commission in London before you travel.

Foot and mouth disease

Import licences are required for the import of any foodstuffs to the island.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

Departure tax

Departure tax is included in the flight costs.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for St Vincent and the Grenadines on the TravelHealthPro website

See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

UK health authorities have classified St Vincent and the Grenadines 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.

Mosquito-borne diseases, such as Chikungunya virus and Dengue fever are present in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Dengue fever is endemic to Latin America and the Caribbean and can occur throughout the year. In September 2020, an upturn in Dengue fever cases was reported. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. In view of a current local shortage in mosquito repellent, you may wish to bring your own with you.

The main government hospital can cope with many types of treatment but serious cases may mean emergency evacuation.

Medical treatment in St Vincent and the Grenadines can be expensive. Make sure that you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment 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. Before choosing to be treated at a private facility, you should check their policies on pre-payment. Private clinics may not accept medical travel insurance as payment for treatment.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Hurricanes

The hurricane season in the Caribbean runs from June to November. You should follow and monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation and the US National Hurricane Centre and follow the advice of local authorities, including any evacuation orders.

See our Tropical cyclones page for advice about how to prepare effectively and what to do if you’re likely to be affected by a hurricane or tropical cyclone.

Earthquakes

Earthquakes are a potential threat and tremors are felt occasionally in the Caribbean. In the event of an earthquake, you should be directed by the local authorities. To learn more about what to do before, during and after an earthquake, visit the website of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Volcanoes

The SVG Prime Minister reported on 29 December 2020 that La Soufriere volcano on St Vincent was in an active state of effusive eruption.

During the morning of 9 April 2021, there were several explosive eruptions of La Soufriere and an ash plume 6km high. Such activity continued until 22 April, when the last explosive eruption occurred. Since then the volcano has been deemed to be in a state of unrest, and continuing its declining trend.

British Nationals should continue to heed the advice of local authorities.

You should monitor the alert level of the underwater volcano ‘Kick’em Jenny’, located 5 miles off the coast of Grenada. Observe any maritime exclusion zones and follow the advice of the local authorities in the event of increased activity or an eruption.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. Consular assistance is available from the consular team in Bridgetown at telephone number +1 246 430 7800, selecting the consular assistance option, or by completing the Webform at www.gov.uk/contact-consulate-bridgetown

If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the FCDO in London on 020 7008 5000 (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 FCDO 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 FCDO 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 FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice team 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.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.