The health risk information presented here is summarized from Shoreland Travax®, a decision-support tool used by health care providers to perform a detailed health risk analysis based on specific locations, individual travel styles, and traveler risk behaviors. Travax provides practitioners current, independently researched malaria risk and prevention recommendations in a map-based format that goes beyond the annual WHO and CDC statements included here. Not included here are current reports from Travax of disease outbreaks or environmental events that may pose elevated risks to travelers’ health and safety. The Providers section of this site offers a directory of health care providers who utilize Shoreland Travax for travel health counseling. Learn more about the detailed reports and maps available from these practitioners (includes links to samples).
Greenland is an industrialized nation in the top 25% of the world's economies. Located northeast of Canada, Greenland lies mostly within the Arctic Circle and is a self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark. Its climate ranges from artic to subarctic with cool summers and cold winters.
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, or rabies. Routine immunizations, such as those that prevent tetanus/diphtheria or "childhood" diseases, should be reviewed and updated as needed.
See also: Library article for Malaria
The following is current information as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)No statement given.
CDC—Health Information for International Travel (current online edition)Areas with malaria: None.
Drug resistance: Not applicable.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
Minimal risk exists throughout the country. Community sanitation is generally good, and health concerns related to food and beverages are minimal.
Travelers should carry loperamide for self-treatment of diarrhea and, if risk is moderate to high, an antibiotic to add if diarrhea is severe. Consult a knowledgeable health care provider regarding which antibiotic is appropriate for you and most effective for your destination.
Other Disease and Health Risks
Additional concerns include tuberculosis.
The material below includes information from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), as well as from additional open-source material. Standard safety precautions that apply to all international travel can be found in the Library article Safety and Security.
Risk of attack by transnational terrorist groups exists throughout Europe. Targets may include domestic and international organizations and businesses; public places and events, including those frequented by tourists; and transportation systems.
Negligible risk of violent crime and low risk of petty crime exist throughout the country.
Other Safety Threats
Tourists traveling on cruise ships in Greenland should be aware that, due to long distances between populated areas, search and rescue capabilities in and around Greenland are limited. There are uncharted waters in some fjords, and frigid water temperatures, even during the summer months. Emergency medical facilities in Greenland are limited in number and types of services offered. Potential passengers are strongly urged to consider these factors and to check the operational records and the experience of captains and crews operating vessels in Arctic waters when signing up for cruises off the shores of Greenland.
Visitors who wish to explore Greenland by land are encouraged to hire experienced guides. Given the similarity of landscape, long periods of darkness, and the potential for fast-changing weather, persons unfamiliar with the area can become disoriented easily and risk long-term exposure to the elements. While the mountains in Greenland are of moderate altitude, they are technically difficult; familiarity with ascent and descent routes is a must.
National incidence data on traffic-related injury or death are not available.
Traffic flows on the right-hand side of the road. Travelers (including drivers and pedestrians) accustomed to traffic moving on the opposite side should be vigilant when navigating traffic.
Extreme cold (which can lead to cold-related injury) occurs from November through April.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Greenland, a constituent country of Denmark
- United States: The U.S. does not have an embassy or consulate in Greenland.
- Canada: [+299] 31-1647; travel.gc.ca/assistance/embassies-consulates/greenland
- United Kingdom: U.K. does not have an embassy or consulate in Greenland.
- Australia: Australia does not have an embassy or consulate in Greenland.
Greenland's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: Greenland does not have an embassy or consulate in the U.S.
- In Canada: Greenland does not have an embassy or consulate in Canada.
- In the U.K.: Greenland does not have an embassy or consulate in the U.K.
- In Australia: Greenland does not have an embassy or consulate in Australia.
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.