Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Carnival Safety Tips

Dear U.S. citizen,

The United States Embassy in Port of Spain reminds U.S. citizens that Carnival will be celebrated on Monday, February 16 and Tuesday, February 17. The United States Embassy wishes all U.S citizens an enjoyable 2015 Carnival season and offers the following safety tips and vehicle/road closure information:

Individuals should avoid proceeding beyond the following boundaries especially when not in groups:

  1. East of Charlotte Street between Queen’s Park Savannah and South Quay.
  2. West of Richmond Street between Independence Square South and Duke Street, however it is safe to proceed west along Park Street onto Ariapita Avenue and Tragarete Road.
  3. North of Queen’s Park Savannah.
  4. South of South Quay.

Entry and exit to and from Port-of-Spain should be made via main arteries (roads) i.e.

  1. Churchill Roosevelt Highway when proceeding east (do not stop at any time between The Lighthouse at South Quay and Barataria overpass).
  2. Avoid using Eastern Main Road (especially between South Quay and The Croisse, San Juan). It is illegal to use The Priority Bus Route without a pass and even then it is not safe between the mentioned areas.
  3. Lady Young Road (if absolutely necessary; avoid unnecessary stops especially at night).
  4. Tragarete Road onto Western Main Road through St. James.
  5. Wrightson Road onto Audrey Jeffers Highway.

**Avoid alternative short cuts through Belmont, Laventille, Morvant, East Dry River and Beetham Gardens.

Additional Safety and Security Reminders:

  1. Be aware of your surroundings and persons who may be observing you.
  2. Do not accept rides, drinks or directions from strangers.
  3. Use ATMs in and around the city center or in well-lit, high traffic areas.
  4. If unsure of your whereabouts, seek assistance from official members of the Protective Services (e.g. Police, Soldiers, etc.) and Ministry of Tourism. They will either be in uniform or displaying some form of official identification.
  5. Maintain security by moving in groups with persons who are familiar with the city and the culture of Carnival.
  6. Avoid displaying large sums of cash (esp. U.S. currency), jewelry or expensive electronic equipment in public.
  7. Purchase a cheap mobile post-paid phone from any of the two carriers and ensure it is always with credit (phone cards are available everywhere from TT$20).

Your common sense guide: Pay attention to your instincts; if it looks or sounds too good to be true, then it probably is!

For any unusual/suspicious activity, call Post 1/RSO at 822-5999 and, if necessary, the police at “999.” The Emergency Ambulance number is “811.”

See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution,Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information. Read the Country Specific Information for Trinidad and Tobago. For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s Web site.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Trinidad and Tobago enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) or https://tt.usembassy.gov. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in the event of an emergency. If you don’t have internet access, you can enroll in person at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1 888 407 4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1 202 501 4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/smart-traveler/id442693988?mt=8) to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain is located at 15 Queen’s Park West, Port of Spain. Routine services are by appointment only. To schedule your appointment, please visit https://tt.usembassy.gov, emailacspos@state.gov or call 868 622 6371. U.S. citizens in Trinidad and Tobago who need emergency services should call the Embassy at 868 622 6371 for assistance.