Destinations > Caribbean > Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe Health & Safety Advice

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Health

Health care is of a good standard, comparable to mainland France. The biggest hospital is the Centre Hospitalier in Pointe-ŕ-Pitre and a hospital on Basse-Terre as well as a number of smaller clinics.

Travelers are advised to obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance prior to visiting Guadeloupe. EU citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which will entitle them to emergency medical treatment on the same terms as French nationals. Note that EHIC will not be sufficient to cover all costs of medical care (like medical repatriation, on-going medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature), so additional insurance is still recommended.

Tap water is chlorinated and relatively safe in main cities and towns, although it may cause mild abdominal upsets. Bottled water is widely available. Outside of main cities and towns it is advised to sterilize the tap water before drinking. Public sources of water that are not safe for drinking are labeled with "Eau non potable" (no drinking water) signs.

Dairy products, meat, poultry, seafood, fruits and vegetables as well as milk are safe for consumption.

Travelers should avoid swimming and paddling in fresh water due to the presence of bilharzia (schistosomiasis), which is found throughout Grande-Terre and in much of Basse-Terre (including Grand Étang lake).

There have also been outbreaks of dengue fever in Guadeloupe - mostly in urban areas where there is a presence of standing water; best avoided by removing sources of standing/stagnant water and using effective insect repellents.

Safety

The crime in Guadeloupe is relatively low. The main tourist areas are considered safe, especially by day. After dark tourists should avoid beaches as well as walking around in Point-ŕ-Pitre alone and stay close to the main roads and streets.

Travelers should take normal common-sense precautions: do not carry large amounts of cash or jewelery, valuables and travel documents should, where possible, be left in safety deposit boxes and hotel safes.




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