The Marshall Islands, Majuro, Window
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The Marshall Islands, Majuro, Window

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Marshall Islands Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

181.4 sq km (70 sq miles).

Population

53,069 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density

398.8 per sq km.

Capital

Majuro.

Government

Republic in free association with the USA.

Head of state

President David Kabua since 2020.

Electricity

120 volts AC, 60Hz. American-style plugs with two flat pins are used (sometimes with a third grounding pin).

The Marshall Islands form a nation of scattered atolls and remote islands, which are known for their marine life and diving opportunities. Many of the atolls are dotted with Flame of the Forest, hibiscus and different-coloured plumeria flowers. There are also at least 160 species of coral surrounding the islands. The atolls are noted for their coconut and papaya plantations and for pandanus and breadfruit trees.

The Marshallese are an interesting bunch. Apart from being a skilled seafaring people who know fishing and navigating as well as anyone, they're a thoroughly multicultural bunch. After two millennia of being isolated, the islands began to be settled and colonised from the 18th century by a wave of successive visitors and occupiers, from British and Russians, to Germans, Japanese and Americans.

The most modern atolls bear the marks of all the above, with diverse restaurants and cuisine on offer. The capital of Majuro Atoll leans towards the Western, being relatively developed though still pretty laid-back. The real tropical wonders are the outer islands, which for the most part are immaculate freckles of paradise, though some have witnessed the horrors of nuclear testing.

The Marshall Islands are undoubtedly a diving hotspot, with many enthusiasts skipping the capital altogether and heading for a spot of nature diving at Rongelap. Diving among wrecks from World War II is also popular, though perhaps the main diving attraction is Bikini Island. You may have heard of Bikini. From or near here, some 23 nuclear devices were detonated in tests by the US in the reef, inside the atoll, by air and even underwater. Divers can go on guided tours to explore the history of nuclear testing, while UNESCO has declared Bikini a World Heritage Site for the fact the remaining, direct tangible evidence of nuclear testing. Leased to the US military, Kwajalein Atoll remains in use for missile testing.

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for the on the TravelHealthPro website

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

International travel

Commercial flights to and from the Marshall Islands remain very limited. Check with your travel company for the latest information.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in the Marshall Islands.

Returning to the UK

When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Travel in the Marshall Islands

Marshall Islands authorities have introduced a number of precautionary measures, including a total suspension of international travellers coming into RMI. Domestic air travel between Majuro and Kwajalein on international airlines is also no longer permitted.

Healthcare in the Marshall Islands

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health

View Health for further details on healthcare in the Marshall Islands

See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Marshall Islands

Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live. We will update this page when the Government of Marshall Islands announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.

The Marshall Islands national vaccination programme started in February 2021 and is using the Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) and Moderna vaccines. British nationals resident in Marshall Islands are eligible for vaccination. For more information on the national vaccination programme, visit the RMI Ministry of Health and Human Services Facebook page. COVID-19 vaccines are currently available from Majuro hospital.

Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.

If you’re a British national living in Marshall Islands, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.

Finance

For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Further information

For further UK government guidance on support you can access whilst abroad, visit our waiting to return guidance. This includes guidance on finance, health, and staying connected.

If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.

Crime

There is a low level of crime in the Marshall Islands. However, there have been reported incidents of petty crimes, including break-ins and non-violent theft. Take precautions to protect your belongings.

Sea safety

You should wear the appropriate safety equipment before engaging in water sports and take local advice on safety at all times when diving, snorkelling or other adventure sports.

Mobile telephones

International roaming is not currently available in the Marshall Islands. This means that your UK mobile phone will not be usable.

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Marshall Islands, attacks can not be ruled out.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

There are heavy penalties for all drug offences. 

Homosexuality is technically illegal in many Pacific countries, and the laws are occasionally enforced. Open displays of affection between same-sex partners may offend local inhabitants.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Marshall Islands set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to. You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Marshall Islands authorities have introduced a number of precautionary measures, including a total suspension of international travellers coming into RMI. Domestic air travel between Majuro and Kwajalein on international airlines is also no longer permitted.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

British nationals need a visa to visit the Marshall Islands. A 30-day visit visa is available on arrival at the airport. Those arriving by boat must also obtain a visa. 30-day visit visas may be extended twice, for a maximum stay of 90 days and each extension costs approximately US$10. You should consult the Marshall Islands Visitors Authority (MIVA) in advance of travel if you are likely to seek an extension of stay: MIVA, PO Box 5, MH96960; telephone number: +692 625 6482; fax number: +692 625 6771; e-mail address: tourism@ntamar.com

If you’re transiting a US territory to reach the Marshall Islands you’ll need to apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) from the US government.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of entry into Marshall Islands.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are not valid for entry into, or transit through, Marshall Islands.

Departure tax

A departure tax amounting to $20 is payable at the airport.

Travelling with children

Some countries need documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. For more information contact the Marshall Islands Visitors Authority (MIVA), PO Box 5, MH96960; telephone number: +692 625 6482; fax number: +692 625 6771; E-mail address: tourism@ntamar.com.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for the Marshall Islands on the TravelHealthPro website

See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in the Marshall Islands.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate
of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Health risks

The government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands has declared a state of health emergency due to an outbreak of Dengue fever. Further information on Dengue, including symptoms, is available on the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC)

There have been recorded cases of dengue fever in the Marshall Islands.

Medical treatment

Medical facilities are generally adequate for routine medical procedures in the Marshall Islands. For more serious or complicated problems, medical evacuation to Honolulu may be needed. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 625 4142 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

The Marshall Islands are vulnerable to natural disasters, such as cyclones, floods and severe droughts. Although these are rare occurrences, you should monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation carefully and follow any instructions issued by the local authorities. See our tropical cyclones page for advice about what to do if you’re caught up in a storm.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can not provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can not offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can not find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.