Bermuda Health and Safety Tips
Bermuda in general is quite safe. Otherwise this island would have never been world's one of the top travel destinations in the first place. However like any other place in the world, there are some health and safety risks that do exist in Bermuda too and some of them are unique to this island. And if you are absolutely unprepared, one of such risks can potentially spoil your vacation.
I don't want to sound negative here, but with proper knowledge and precaution, you can avoid all such health and safety hazards. Here are the main areas of health and safety concerns that need attention. A proper knowledge on do's and don'ts can help mitigate such risks considerably.
Risks and safety measures at beaches
Bermuda beaches are generally safe. However there can be occasional risks and some of them may have high impacts.
Portuguese Man of War, a marine creature that looks like Jellyfish with a big blue bladder floating over the water surface, can be occasionally seen in Bermuda waters. Sometimes due to storm, they are blown on to the beaches. A sting from its long tentacles can be extremely painful and sometimes may cause serious problems, and in some rare cases can also be fatal. They might look dead, but more often than not, they are not. So do not go near it if you spot one in the water or on the beach.
Rip Currents that flow back towards the sea from the shore, can sometimes be dangerous. If caught in the current, one can be swept away towards the sea.
Note that many beaches in Bermuda (other than the ones which are popular among tourists) do not have Life Guards, and most that do, have life guards during summer. So if you anticipate that you may need any kind of assistance while swimming or snorkeling, you need to choose a beach carefully.
Check out Bermuda Beach Safety
to understand these beach related risks in detail along with the safety tips.
Theft and Snatching in Bermuda
There have been cases of theft and robbery in Bermuda, which unfortunately has been in the rise in recent times. While they may not be of great concern, there have been instances where the tourists have been the victims of such cases.
Theft at Bermuda beaches do occur at times. Your valuables may disappear if you leave them behind unattended, particularly in a crowded beach. Even if the beach is secluded and no one seems to be around, I would suggest not to leave behind your camera or wallet unattended while you go for a swim. Either hand it over to someone you know or carry them in a waterproof plastic bag.
There are few beaches in Bermuda (such as Horseshoe Bay Beach, Snorkel Park Beach, Tobacco Bay Beach etc) that have locker facilities that you can rent on an hourly rate. If you carry valuables, I suggest you take a locker to keep them safe. If you plan to take a camera with you, a waterproof camera can also be a good idea which floats on the water. You will often get an ordinary waterproof camera at the cruise ship for some $35 - $45.
Another common theft in Bermuda is from the basket of a scooter or moped. If valuables are kept in the basket, it should not be left unlocked, particularly when parked. Better is to carry all the valuables with you and not leave anything behind in the scooter basket that is unattended.
You should also be careful in a crowded public place (including in beaches) for any possible snatching. Cases of snatching do occur in Bermuda, although only occasionally. Best is to keep your stuff in a pouch bag which is tied to your waist and hidden under your clothes.
Serious Crime in Bermuda
Serious crime in Bermuda is low but rising in recent times. But so far, virtually none of these criminal offenses have had anything to do with the tourists or visitors. Check out Bermuda Crime Rate
to know more about some of the crime related challenges that the island is facing in recent times.
Bermuda Police has issued safety guidelines specifically for women in Bermuda. If you are a woman planning to visit Bermuda, I suggest that you check these guidelines for your own safety: Safety Advice for women in Bermuda
Health and Medical Expenses
Expenses for any medical treatment in Bermuda can be exorbitantly high. And when you don't anticipate things to go wrong at all, it does go wrong at times. There is no free treatment provision in Bermuda and any hospitalization is very expensive, far more than in the US or UK.
On top of it, if one is staying at a hotel when a health related serious problem forces hospitalization, the hotel is unlikely to show any mercy with its heavy cancellation charges.
Check out Bermuda Health Insurance
to understand the implications of health related problems in Bermuda and the need for a comprehensive travel insurance.
In case you need to avail medical facilities in Bermuda, check out Bermuda Medical Services
to know about all the hospitals, specialty clinics and nursing homes in the island and their offerings.
Hurricanes in Bermuda
Official hurricane season in Bermuda is between June to November (although authorities no longer say so as that would scare away tourists from the island). Severe storms or hurricanes in Bermuda are not very frequent. However storms and hurricanes do strike in the island and sometimes create major impacts and damages. While over the years the island has learned from its mistakes and is nowadays well prepared to face such situations, there is a lot that you need to do on your part too to ensure your personal safety. Read Hurricanes in Bermuda and what it means
to know all about it.
Few Safety Tips
Most roads in Bermuda are narrow and winding, and many of them hardly have sidewalks or footpaths. So try to avoid a hike or a long walk along such roads... you may otherwise find yourself in a scary situation where vehicles coming from behind and zipping through giving an awry feel that it could have easily brushed you. For walks or hikes, it is always a good idea to take a nature trail where vehicles are not allowed... Bermuda Railway Trail is very popular.
Limit your exposure to the sun, especially during midday. It can easily burn your skin. Ensure that you apply sufficient sun-guard lotion. However do not use sun guard lotion while swimming or snorkeling from the beaches... this is not allowed.
When exploring coastal trails or going into the beaches, try to wear sturdy shoes. This will help prevent twisted ankles and stubbed toes. There are many rocks and boulders on the way.
If one is suffering from Hay fever, there is a good news here. There are no ragweed in Bermuda. And pollens of other weeds are also quickly blown into the ocean. So the air generally remains pollen free all the time.
2) Visit Living in Bermuda
to know all about what it takes to relocate and settle in Bermuda.
Viewers' Reviews & Comments
Alison Potter (August 2015)
Hi, your website is great. It is quite hard to find honest information about holiday destinations - especially when travelling with children. We are looking for a destination for our Christmas holiday. We normally go to somewhere like Thailand but last year went to St Lucia. This year we would like to still take a holiday but I will be about 7 months pregnant (we also have a 5 year old). From what I have seen on Bermuda the standards of heathcare/ food hygiene and hotels look high. also the flight time from the UK is only about 7 hours which is appealing to a mum to be! You seem to have a lot of experience of Bermuda I thought I would ask someone who knows what they are talking about. Thank you so much.
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) August 2015
Hi, Bermuda is a good travel destination to choose when it comes to food/hygiene/hotels etc. You may however note the following:
1) Hotels like Fairmont Southampton and Hamilton Princess (also managed by Fairmont group) have extensive Lifestyle cuisine menu other their regular menu. This gives you a good choice of food with special dietary requirements. Fairmont Southampton in particular is very flexible and can customize meals to your requirements.
2) You should take adequate foreign travel health insurance that includes maternity. Healthcare cost in Bermuda can be very high.
3) There is only one proper hospital in Bermuda - The King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in Paget. So stay in a hotel close to Paget (like in Hamilton, Southampton or Paget itself).
Nadine Smith (February 2015)
My son and I will be travelling to Bermuda via NCL on May 31-June 7, 2015. Although they offer the tour packages and excursions on board Norwegian, some have suggested you can get a better deal outside. This is my first time to Bermuda and wanted to know if it is safe to roam around the city and the beaches ( in the daytime only). Should I carry my passport with me or leave it on the ship? Thanks for any input.
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) February 2015
Bermuda is quite safe for the tourists in general. Take a group tour on per person rate from the kiosk of Island Tour Center (they offer a host of boating, sailing and land based tours). You can also take a taxi tour by the hour ... look for a blue flag taxi whose taxi drivers are certified tour guide and can share a lot of history and information along the way. Just tell them where do you want to go. It's safe to take a public transport like a bus or a ferry and roam around the island and the beaches (note that public beaches are open only until sunset). Do not leave any valuables unattended, they can and sometimes do disappear. You do not need to carry your passport if you can leave it safely in your ship.