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A volcano erupted on White Island, New Zealand on 9 December 2019. Follow the instructions of local authorities. Updates are available from the New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management.
Call 1300 555 135
Call +61 2 6261 3305
text +61 421 269 080
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Terrorist attacks are possible. Throughout 2019, local and international groups published material on line encouraging attacks in Bangladesh.
During 2018 – 2019, there were improvised explosive device (IED) attacks around Dhaka. No foreigners were targeted or killed during these attacks. Monitor the news and other sources for information on any such attacks and avoid these locations.
Australian Government staff in Bangladesh implement security measures because of the threat of terror attack. Security protocols at the Australian High Commission are under constant review.
If there's an attack, leave the area as soon as it's safe. Avoid the affected area in case of secondary attacks.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Criminal violence and armed robberies are common and occur in all large cities. Expected for similar sized cities around the world. In the past, expatriates have been victims of robbery, pickpocketing and 'snatch and grab' attacks.
Thieves, often armed and operating in teams, can target people travelling in rickshaws, taxis and motorised rickshaws. Petty crime, including theft and purse snatching, is common. The risk of robbery increases after dark, especially on public transport.
Law enforcement agencies have increased the number of check posts around Dhaka, particularly in Dhaka's expatriate and diplomatic areas of Banani, Baridhara and Gulshan.
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
Random attacks with small improvised explosive devices, known as cocktails, happen from time to time in public areas.
International and political developments in the region may cause local protests.
Violence at political events has killed and injured people in recent years. These events included:
Hartals led by political groups can:
Blockades of rail, road and river transport networks led by political groups may result in:
To protect yourself during periods of unrest:
Crowds commemorating significant dates and anniversaries have also been attacked. Dates of national significance include:
Political violence occurs in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region, including:
The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it doesn't make payments or concessions to kidnappers.
If you travel to the Chittagong Hill Tracts region despite our advice:
Be prepared for a major emergency. Keep an emergency kit.
If a natural disaster happens:
The monsoon season is from June to September.
The cyclone seasons are from May to June and from October to November.
During these times, flooding and landslides can happen with little warning.
Severe weather can affect services and transport.
The direction and strength of cyclones can change with little warning.
If there's a cyclone or severe storm:
To reduce your risk of getting caught in severe weather events:
If a cyclone is approaching:
If you're travelling during monsoon or cyclone season, ask your tour operator if the weather will affect your services.
Bangladesh also experiences earthquakes and tsunamis.
The US Geological Service website has real-time information on earthquakes.
If there's an earthquake:
Move to higher ground if:
Don't wait for official warnings. Once on high ground, monitor local media and weather services.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Bangladesh. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.
Carry copies of your prescription and a letter from your doctor stating:
There has been a spike in cases of chikungunya in Bangladesh, including areas of Dhaka, since July 2017. Chikungunya is a virus spread by mosquitoes.
Malaria occurs in rural areas. Consider taking medicine to prevent malaria.
Outbreaks of other insect-borne diseases occur in many areas, including
If you're pregnant, the Australian Department of Health recommends that you:
To protect yourself from illness:
Get vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis.
HIV/AIDS is a risk.
Take precautions if you engage in activities that may expose you to the virus.
Human cases of avian influenza have been confirmed in Bangladesh.
Waterborne, foodborne and other infectious diseases happen, including:
Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.
To protect yourself from illness:
If you're bitten or scratched by an animal, seek medical help straight away.
Get medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
Outbreaks of coetaneous anthrax have occurred in the past and could do again. Affected people either ate beef or had close contact with diseased animals.
It's safe to eat fully cooked beef and beef products from reliable sources.
To protect yourself from illness:
Avoid temporary black henna tattoos. They often contain a dye that can cause serious skin reactions.
The standard of medical facilities is poor. Medical facilities outside Dhaka are very limited.
Doctors and hospitals usually need up-front payment before they will treat you.
If you become seriously ill or injured, you'll need to be evacuated to a place with better facilities. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for drug offences are severe. They include mandatory jail sentences and the death penalty. Jail sentences are mandatory even in cases that involve just a small amount of illegal drugs.
Law enforcement agencies looking for illegal drugs raid places where teenagers and young people spend time.
Hookah pipes or smoking pipes are common in some bars and cafes. Criminals may spike them with illegal drugs. Avoid using these pipes.
The death penalty can apply for crimes including:
Authorities use corporal punishment such as whipping as an alternative to jail.
Local authorities can demand to see identification.
Always carry a copy of your passport with you, even if you're a dual national.
Same-sex acts are illegal. Penalties include jail sentences.
Bangladeshi civil law differs from Australian law. This includes family matters such as:
If you plan to do anything that involves local laws, including business and family matters:
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
The Bangladeshi Government may consider you a Bangladeshi citizen if:
This may be the case even if you've never held a Bangladeshi passport.
This limits the consular services we can give if you're arrested or detained.
It's illegal for Bangladeshi citizens to purchase, carry, possess, transport or consume alcohol without a permit.
These laws apply to dual nationals.
Dress and behaviour standards are conservative.
Don't wear shorts. If you're a woman, wear a scarf around your neck and shoulders.
Public displays of affection aren't socially acceptable. They may attract attention from law enforcement officials.
Take care not to offend. If in doubt, ask a local.
The Islamic holiday month of Ramadan will be from late April to late May in 2020. Respect religious and cultural customs and laws at this time.
During Ramadan, Muslims must not eat, drink and smoke between sunrise and sunset.
If you're non-Muslim, authorities can detain you if you eat, drink or smoke in public during this time. They may even deport you.
You need a visa to enter Bangladesh. Arrange it before you arrive.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the Bangladesh High Commission for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
f you're working in Bangladesh, each time you leave, you need to present either:
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
Never hand your passport over to strangers. If hotel staff ask to make a copy of it, make sure they return it straight away.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
The local currency is the Bangladesh Taka (BDT).
You must declare amounts of more than $US5000 when you enter or exit the country. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.
You can use credit cards and ATM facilities in major centres.
Credit card fraud happens. Take care not to expose your PIN. Monitor your bank statements for possible fraud.
You need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in Bangladesh.
Get an IDP before you leave Australia.
Violent protests and demonstrations occur in Dhaka and other districts. This includes on the main airport road.
These events can cause major traffic delays and disruptions.
Monitor local media. Follow the advice of local authorities.
You're twice as likely to die in a motor vehicle accident in Bangladesh as in Australia.
Travel is dangerous. Fatalities are common.
Head-on collisions are common.
Risks are higher at night and outside the major cities.
Cars, buses and trucks often drive at high speed either:
Many rickshaws and CNGs are unlit at night, and are difficult to see in the dark.
Most rural roads are built up due to monsoon floods. Road shoulders can have a 2m to 3m drop.
Monsoon floods can also damage roads and make them impassable.
Traffic accidents, even minor ones, often attract large crowds of onlookers. This can quickly get out of control and turn violent.
Other issues that can increase accident risks and severity include:
If you intend to drive in Bangladesh:
If you're involved in an accident, immediately contact police and follow their instructions.
Australian High Commission staff are instructed not to use motorbikes.
Check whether your travel insurance policy covers you when using a motorbike, quad bike or similar vehicle.
Always wear a helmet.
Australian High Commission staff are instructed not to use taxis or ride-sharing service due to safety concerns.
Only use registered taxis and limousines. Try to book these through your hotel.
Australian High Commission staff are instructed not to use public transport.
Travel by bus may be unsafe due to:
Train travel can be unsafe due to:
Overloading can occur on river craft, including ferries. Boats may also not have life-saving equipment on board. People die in major accidents.
Piracy occurs in coastal areas.
Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport has extra security measures.
Check Bangladesh's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Call 999 or go to the hospital.
Call 999 or go to your local police station.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular help, contact the Australian High Commission in Dhaka.
184 Gulshan Avenue
Check the Australian High Commission website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.