is an annual report produced in conjunction with the Regional Security Office
at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York, which oversees security
for U.S. interests in Bermuda. OSAC encourages travelers to use
this report to gain baseline knowledge of security conditions in Bermuda. For
more in-depth information, review OSAC’s Bermuda page
for original OSAC reporting, consular messages, and contact information, some
of which may be available only to private-sector representatives with an OSAC
The current U.S. Department of State Travel
Advisory at the date of this report’s publication assesses Bermuda
at Level 1, indicating travelers should exercise normal precautions. Review
OSAC’s report, Understanding the
Consular Travel Advisory System.
Overall Crime and
U.S. Department of State has assessed Bermuda as being a LOW-threat location for crime directed at or affecting official
U.S. government interests.
in Bermuda is trending downward. Between 2008 and 2012, crime in all categories
was negatively impacted by unprecedented gang activity. Since 2012, decreasing
crime trends have been reflective of significantly less gang activity and the
positive results of policing enforcement and collective government responses. Notwithstanding
those successes, the impact of sustained socioeconomic decline is having a
negative impact on recent crime trends, exemplified by some brazen commercial
activity plagued Bermuda between 2009 and 2012, and after a period of calm, it has
shown some evidence of returning in the last two years. Gang activity is generally
insular and there have been no reports of gang violence targeting visitors. Despite
evidence of increasing gang tensions, overall records of firearms incidents – predominately
associated to gang activity (confirmed and unconfirmed) – fell from 82 in 2016
to 47 in 2017. Despite there being no recorded homicides in 2019, there were
four firearm incidents in early February 2020; an indication retaliatory gang
activity may reemerge.
Compared to the United States, Bermuda’s crime rate is low. Petty
crime is most common. Valuables left unattended in public areas, in unsecured
hotel rooms, or on rental motorbikes may be vulnerable to theft. Criminals target
visitors on motorbikes and at popular tourist attractions, and purse snatchings
(generally involving thieves on motorbikes) and muggings occur occasionally. Avoid
the back streets in Hamilton due to greater risk of nighttime assault,
particularly after bars close. Avoid unlighted back streets and out-of-the-way areas,
due both to increased risk of crime and because narrow and dark roadways can
contribute to traffic accidents. A good security mindset and common sense
should be sufficient to prevent visitors from becoming victims of crime or
violence. Review OSAC’s report, All That You Should
Review OSAC’s reports, The Overseas Traveler’s
Guide to ATM Skimmers & Fraud and Taking Credit.
Review OSAC’s reports, Hotels: The Inns and
Outs and Considerations for
released the following statistics in December 2019 based on inter-agency data
*As of December 9,
Cyber-crime, such as identity theft, credit card fraud, and
phishing, are rare in Bermuda. However, visitors should be prudent and protect
all personally identifiable information, and not leave personal electronic items
unattended. Review OSAC’s reports, Cybersecurity Basics,
Best Practices for
Maximizing Security on Public Wi-Fi, Traveling with Mobile
Devices: Trends & Best Practices, and Satellite Phones:
Critical or Contraband?
Road Safety and Road Conditions
use the left side and roads are very narrow, often with no defined shoulder. The
maximum speed in the city of Hamilton is 25 kph (15 mph) with a 35 kph (21 mph)
limit on the rest of the island. However, traffic typically moves much faster,
with average speeds closer to 50kph (31mph) or more, occasionally resulting in traffic
collisions. Under Bermudian law, non-residents may not own, rent, or drive
traditional four-wheeled vehicles. Non-residents must rely on taxis, the local
bus system, rented motorbikes, or mico-sized 4-wheel electric vehicles. Traffic
volume is moderate, and there are backups during rush hour in Hamilton. Bermuda
has enjoyed an overall decrease in traffic incidents over the last five years,
due largely to greater emphasis on policing. Road collisions – particularly
involving motorbikes – are common and can result in serious injuries or death. On
average, there is one traffic fatality per month.
motorbikes are readily available, and the required helmet is provided. Carefully
consider the significant risks of riding a motorbike. Most traffic accidents
involve motorbikes, and local operators tend to exceed the speed limit and
ignore other regulations, increasing the risk to themselves and other drivers. Main
roads, while generally in good condition, are extremely narrow and tend to border
heavy vegetation or stone walls.
Statistics released by
the Bermuda Hospitals Board showed providers treated 1,794 patients in 2019 for
injuries sustained in traffic accidents — a 3.1% increase on the year before. Seven
victims died of their injuries in 2019, compared with 12 in the preceding year.
Tourists accounted for 137 of the injures.
Review OSAC’s reports, Road Safety Abroad,
Driving Overseas: Best
Practices, and Evasive Driving
Techniques; and read the State Department’s webpage on driving
and road safety abroad.
Public Transportation Conditions
are readily available. The local bus system serves the length of the island and
stops close to most beaches and hotels, the downtown shopping area, and other
points of interest. A frequent commuter ferry service connects the central and
western parts of the island, with less frequent service to east end.
L.F. Wade International Airport (BDA) offers direct flights to and from New
York, Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Toronto, and London, with other U.S. destinations
such as Washington, Philadelphia, and Newark available on a seasonal basis. The
airport is compliant with international standards and serves military and
private jets via a privately-operated Fixed Base Office at a separate apron
within the terminal complex. The government is building a new terminal on the
existing airport site, scheduled to open in 2020.
OSAC’s report, Security In Transit:
Airplanes, Public Transport, and Overnights.
Maritime Travel Conditions
high season for seasonally operated cruise ships from the U.S. Eastern seaboard
is between April and November, but ships dock occasionally throughout the year.
Typically, Bermuda is a single-stop destination for cruise lines, with ships
remaining in port for approximately three days. Additionally, Bermuda is a
popular destination for private sailboats, typically sailing from the
The U.S. Department of State has assessed Bermuda as being a LOW-threat location for terrorism
directed at or affecting official U.S. government interests. There
are no local, regional or international terrorism threats or concerns known to
the Bermudian government aside from the global threat posed by extremist groups
Religious, and Ethnic Violence
The U.S. Department of State has
assessed Bermuda as being a LOW-threat
location for political violence directed at or affecting official U.S.
government interests. Bermuda is a dependency of the UK,
but has an independent bicameral legislature with a mature constitution that
permits near-independent self-rule. Bermuda enjoys a reputation for personal
wealth and success promoted by tourism, and an international business-friendly
environment. Notwithstanding, the Bermudian economy is recently recovering
after eight years of recession that has exasperated tensions between social and
political groups, occasionally resulting in protests. Protests are generally
peaceful, with short-term work stoppages the most common consequence. Review
OSAC’s report, Surviving a Protest.
has among the highest ratios of churches per capita in the world, including numerous
religious denominations. Though some churches are politically and socially
active, there is no evidence of associated risk or violence. Ethnicity is black
52%, white 31%, mixed 9%, Asian 4%, other 4%, unspecified 0.1% (2016 est.), with
an increasing percentage of Asian residents. There is some public criticism of
foreign workers, who some local residents blame for taking native jobs, but
there is no evidence of racial or ethnic based violence.
is no notable anti-U.S. sentiment.
Hurricanes hit Bermuda often during hurricane season, which runs from
June through November. However, thanks to its robust infrastructure and
competent emergency response capabilities, storm impacts are usually less
significant compared to similar jurisdictions. As approaching storms threaten
the island, the U.S. Consulate General will send messages with forecast updates
and safety instructions.
has an effective and well-tested physical and organizational infrastructure to manage
Economic Concerns/Intellectual Property Theft
Law enforcement agencies in Bermuda have neither received nor
investigated any complaints of economic espionage or intellectual property
theft. Bermuda has a robust legal community with a significant capacity to deal
with either issue should such incidents arise.
Personal information and other
aspects of privacy are respected in both corporate and private environments. Local
legislation such as The Data Protection Act exists to protect privacy and
privileged relationships. Most corporate entities also have internal directives
to restrict the sharing of information. There is no evidence of widespread
misuse of locally sourced information.
Personal Identity Concerns
Review the State Department’s
webpage on security for female travelers.
Bermudians are bound by the European
Convention on Human Rights, and the Bermuda Human Rights Act (1981), which
subject to recent amendment, now forbids discrimination based on sexual
orientation. Same-sex marriage is legal in Bermuda as of 2018. The issue made
international headlines after the Bermudian Supreme Court initially legalized
the practice in May 2017, but the Bermudian Parliament passed a bill banning
same-sex marriage in December 2017. In response to the ban, the Supreme Court
ultimately upheld its original ruling after two legal challenges. Review the
State Department’s webpage on security for LGBTI+ travelers.
Review OSAC’s report, Freedom to Practice, and the State Department’s
webpage on security for faith-based travelers.
Bermuda does not currently have
legislation on access to transportation, communication, and public buildings
for persons with disabilities. Very few hotels would be fully compliant with
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Always check with the hotel or
property where you will be staying to see if their dimensions for rooms, doors,
and bathrooms are ADA-compliant. Outside of Hamilton, sidewalks are generally
unavailable or not suitable for wheelchairs. Public ferries are handicap
accessible, as are some public buses, but most bus stops are not. Handicap
accessible taxis are available for hire in Bermuda. Review the State
Department’s webpage on security for travelers with disabilities.
Drug crime accounts for a significant proportion of overall crime
in Bermuda. Almost all drugs are imported and have a high street value, making
Bermuda a sought-after market for overseas suppliers. Marijuana, cocaine, and heroin
(and their derivatives) are commonly available at street level and elsewhere. There
is no evidence to support the presence or use of methamphetamines, but there
have been at least to seizures of fentanyl. There were a total of 419 drug-related
arrests in 2017 compared to 347 in 2016. Recent legislation has decriminalized
personal possession of marijuana of less than seven grams.
The Bermuda Government is
exploring the legalization of medicinal marijuana. The consequences of such
action are unknown and currently under evaluation by the government and Bermuda
Police Service. It is likely the legalization measures will go into effect this
There are no instances of kidnapping.
However, the large numbers of very wealthy visitors may present a high profile
a target of opportunity. Review OSAC’s report, Kidnapping: The Basics.
Majesty’s Customs Service has primacy to police all ports of entry, with a view
to interdicting contraband and collecting customs import revenue. Bermuda strictly
enforces its laws restricting the entry of weapons and ammunition. Entering
Bermuda with a firearm, some bladed instruments, an ammunition magazine, or
even a single round of ammunition is illegal, even if the weapon or ammunition
is taken into the country unintentionally. Travelers must seek permission to
import or own a gun in Bermuda in advance from the Bermuda Police Service. Owners
of any privately owned firearms must secure them at Bermuda Police
Headquarters. Violations may result in arrest, convictions, and potentially
long prison sentences. Bermuda considers pepper sprays and stun guns illegal, dangerous
weapons. Read the State Department’s webpage on customs
and import restrictions for information on what you
cannot take into or out of other countries.
emergency line in Bermuda is 911. The Police
Dispatch center will contact the emergency appropriate service.
Bermuda Police is a modern and competent organization, which operates under UK
legal standards and internationally recognized best practices. The Bermuda
Police Service provides a number of policing resources, including routine patrol,
criminal investigation, narcotic investigation, traffic enforcement, marine patrol,
community engagement, intelligence, financial crime investigation, forensic support,
family liaison, and others.
Bermuda does not have a formalized victims of crime program, there is a Criminal
Injuries Compensation Board at 113 Front Street in Hamilton. Call +441-292-1350.
Bermuda Immigration Department monitors, among other things, the presence on
island of visitors and foreign residents, and issues passports for Bermudians.
Although expensive, adequate medical care is available for routine
procedures. Bermuda’s lone hospital performs general surgery and has an
emergency room and intensive care unit. Serious or complex medical issues
typically require medical evacuation (medevac) to the United States. Find contact
information for available medical services and available air ambulance services
on the U.S. Consulate website.
Bermuda has an existing agreement
with the Lahey Hospital in Burlington, MA, to provide medical services for
Bermudians and other residents that may not be available on the island. Bermudian
medical insurance generally covers these treatments and medevac. Most Bermudian
health care providers, including the local hospital, do not accept overseas
insurance and will expect payment at the time of service. The
U.S. Department of State strongly recommends purchasing international health
insurance that includes medevac service before traveling internationally.
Review the State Department’s webpage on insurance overseas.
You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Bermuda.
CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying
with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you
are an adventurous eater.
Rabies is present in bats in
Bermuda. However, it is not a major risk to most travelers. CDC recommends
rabies vaccine for travelers involved in outdoor and other activities in remote
areas that put them at risk for bat bites (such as adventure travel and caving),
and for people who will be working with or around bats (such as wildlife
professionals and researchers).
The CDC offers additional
information on vaccines and health guidance for Bermuda.
Review OSAC’s reports, The Healthy Way, Traveling with Medication, I’m Drinking What in My Water?, Shaken: The Don’ts of Alcohol Abroad, Health 101: How to Prepare for
Travel, and Fire Safety Abroad.
OSAC Country Council
Bermuda does not have an active OSAC Country Council. Contact
OSAC’s Western Hemisphere team for more
U.S. Embassy Contact
16 Middle Road, Devonshire DV 03
Hours: Monday through Friday from 0800-1630
Telephone: + (441) 295-1342
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +
Before you travel, consider the
OSAC Risk Matrix
State Department Traveler’s Checklist
Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)