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 US 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).
Timor-Leste, a portion of the island of Timor and the islands of Pulau Atauro and Pulau Jaco, is a developing nation classified as lower middle income. Located in Southeast Asia in the Timor, Banda, and Savu seas (north of Australia), the climate is classified as humid equatorial (long dry season).
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against COVID-19, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, Japanese encephalitis, measles, mumps, rubella, rabies, or typhoid fever. 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 US Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)(2019) Malaria risk due predominantly to P. falciparum exists throughout the year in the entire country.
- Recommended prevention: C – Risk of P. falciparum malaria, in combination with reported chloroquine and sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine resistance. Mosquito bite prevention plus atovaquone–proguanil or doxycycline or mefloquine chemoprophylaxis (select according to reported side effects and contraindications) a
aAlternatively, for travel to rural areas with low risk of malaria infection, mosquito bite prevention can be combined with stand–by emergency treatment (SBET).
WHO Country List footnote: When available, the date of the most recent update or confirmation is indicated in parentheses in the country list. If no date is indicated, the most recent update or confirmation was provided before 2013.
CDC—Health Information for International Travel (current online edition)Areas with malaria: Present in Oecusse District. Rare cases in other districts.
- Drug resistance3 : Chloroquine.
- Malaria species: P. falciparum 50%, P. vivax 50%, P. ovale < 1%, P. malariae < 1%.
- Recommended chemoprophylaxis: Oecusse District: Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, mefloquine, or tafenoquine.4 Other districts: None (practice mosquito avoidance).
3 Refers to P. falciparum malaria unless otherwise noted.
4 Primaquine and tafenoquine can cause hemolytic anemia in people with G6PD deficiency. Patients must be screened for G6PD deficiency before starting primaquine or tafenoquine. See Tafenoquine Approved for Malaria Prophylaxis and Treatment for more information.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
High risk exists throughout the country, with moderate risk in deluxe accommodations. Community sanitation and food safety measures are generally inadequate. Some itineraries (e.g., remote destinations, austere accommodations) and activities (e.g., ecotourism, eating street or local-market food) further increase risk.
Travelers should observe food and beverage precautions, which reduce the likelihood of illness.
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 Food-Borne Illnesses
Precautions to prevent seafood poisoning may be needed.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
Other Disease and Health Risks
The material below includes information from the US Department of State (DOS), the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development 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.
No intrinsic risk of attack by terrorist groups exists, but unforeseen attacks are possible.
Moderate risk of violent crime (armed robbery, home robbery, sexual assault [including verbal and physical harassment], gang-related violence, and assault) and petty crime exists throughout the country, especially in Dili (particularly in areas frequented by foreigners, such as beaches and Timor Plaza). Theft of valuables from unattended vehicles is common.
Protests and demonstrations may infrequently occur and have the potential to turn violent without warning. Bystanders are at risk of harm from violence or from the response by authorities. Disruption to transportation, free movement, or the ability to carry out daily activities may occur.
Rent water sports equipment from reputable operators. Scuba dive only with personnel certified by PADI or NAUI, and use equipment only from PADI- or NAUI-certified dive operators.
Other Safety Threats
Risk exists for fatal wildlife attacks from crocodiles in coastal areas and in-land waterways, especially along the southern coast. Travelers should closely follow regulations from local authorities and always maintain a safe distance from wildlife.
High risk of traffic-related injury or death exists. The road traffic death rate is 12 to 24 per 100,000 population. The rate is less than 10 in most high-income countries.
Speed laws are poorly enforced.
Seat belt laws are poorly enforced.
Drunk driving laws are poorly enforced.
Structural standards for vehicles may not meet international standards.
The monsoon season is from November through April, coinciding with the cyclone season. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur.
Seismic activity frequently occurs.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Timor-Leste
- United States: [+670] 332-4684; tl.usembassy.gov
- Canada: Canada does not have an embassy or consulate in Timor-Leste.
- United Kingdom: U.K. does not have an embassy or consulate in Timor-Leste.
- Australia: [+670] 332-2111; timorleste.embassy.gov.au
Timor-Leste's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: timorlesteembassy.org
- In Canada: Timor-Leste does not have an embassy or consulate in Canada.
- In the U.K.: [+44] 020-3585-4062
- In Australia: [+61] 2-6260-4833
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.