Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Ethiopia has joined the list of countries that have introduced additional entry requirements to protect public health.
The temporary travel restrictions are intended to help contain the virus and stop it from spreading.
See below the measures Ethiopia has taken to control the COVID-19 outbreak and flatten the curve in the East African state.
Can I Still Fly to Ethiopia?
Ethiopia’s borders remain open to international travelers who meet the Ethiopian visa requirements. Airline passengers are required to follow special COVID-19 safety protocol on arrival in Ethiopia.
Procedures may be changed by the Ethiopian government at short notice, travelers must check the latest coronavirus restrictions before making plans.
Proof of a Negative COVID-19 Test Required
All passengers are required to present a medical certificate showing an RT-PCR COVID-19 test result. The test must have been taken no more than 120 hours (5 days) before arrival in Ethiopia. A rapid diagnostic test (RDT antibody test) will not be accepted for this purpose.
Children under the age of 10 and diplomatic passport holders do not need to submit the medical certificate.
Screening on Arrival at the Airport in Ethiopia
There are screening measures in place at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport and other international ports of entry.
Travelers will have their temperature checked and will be required to complete a health form and answer questions about recent travel and accommodation in Ethiopia.
Quarantine Requirements for Passengers Arriving in Ethiopia
Since March 23, there has been an obligatory quarantine procedure for all passengers arriving in the country.
All international travelers with a negative PCR COVID-19 test must self-isolate for 7 days on arrival (previously 14). Diplomatic passport-holders who arrive without a negative PCR test must undergo quarantine for 14 days instead.
Ethiopian nationals may complete their 7-day quarantine at home, while other passengers will self-isolate at designated hotels. There is a selection of hotels for visitors to choose from, the full cost is covered by the traveler. A coronavirus test will be carried out during the self-isolation period.
Diplomats may complete the 14-day quarantine at the embassy of their country in Ethiopia.
Travelers arriving at Bole International Airport who show symptoms of COVID-19 will be quarantined at a designated government-run isolation center until cleared.
Individuals who are known to be positive for coronavirus prior to arriving in Ethiopia will not be allowed to enter.
Symptoms During Quarantine
Travelers will be monitored by health authorities during the initial 2-week period. Anyone who develops coronavirus symptoms may be transferred to a special isolation facility or hospital.
Rules for Transiting Ethiopia during COVID-19
It is possible to travel through an Ethiopian airport during the pandemic. The maximum transit time permitted is 72 hours, passengers in transit are exempt from mandatory quarantine procedures.
Travelers with a short transit time can remain in the airport departure lounge; for layovers longer than 24 hours, passengers will be taken to a designated hotel. A shuttle service is provided to take passengers to and from the terminal.
Individuals traveling through Addis Ababa Bole International Airport will undergo health screening such as temperature checks.
Are Ethiopia’s Land Borders Open?
The majority of Ethiopia’s land borders have now reopened, screening procedures such as temperature checks are currently in place.
People who test negative can self-isolate for 7 days at home. Anyone who produces a positive COVID-19 test result will be treated.
Ethiopia’s land borders were originally closed with few exceptions. The situation is under constant review and cross-border travel could be suspended again at short notice. It is important to stay up to date with the latest information and travel advisories.
Measures Against COVID-19 in Ethiopia
Travelers in Ethiopia should be aware of safety rules in place across the country. Although the government state of emergency has now come to an end, several measures continue to be enforced.
- Social distancing, people should remain 2 adult strides apart
- No more than 3 diners per table at cafes and restaurants
- Entertainment venues such as theatres and nightclubs are closed
- Face masks must be worn in public spaces
- Reduced public transportation facilities
- Shaking hands as a greeting is not allowed
General Travel Advisory for Ethiopia
Outside of travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, there are certain parts of Ethiopia that visitors are advised to avoid due to sporadic civil unrest, communications disruptions, crime, and conflict.
These areas tend to be border regions, such as the border with Somalia as well as the Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, and Eritrea frontiers.
Other regions where foreign travelers should be careful when visiting are:
- Somali Regional State
- Ethiopia’s Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR)
- The East Hararge region and the Guji zone of Oromia State
- Benishangul Gumuz and the western part of Oromia State
The rest of Ethiopia is generally considered safe for foreign nationals.
As with visiting any country, it is advisable for all travelers to be vigilant of their surroundings and take care of their personal belongings.
General Entry Restrictions for Ethiopia
Under normal circumstances, only nationals of 2 neighboring countries may enter Ethiopia without a visa. Travelers from all other nations must obtain a visa in order to visit.
The Ethiopia online visa (also known as the Electronic Visa or eVisa for Ethiopia) is available to the majority of travelers.
The eVisa is quick and easy to acquire by completing a simple Ethiopia online visa application form, which takes a matter of minutes to fill in. This accessibility eliminates the need to go to an embassy to apply for a visa, which takes longer to process than the online option.
Find out who is eligible for an eVisa by checking the Ethiopia visa requirements.
Foreign nationals who obtain the necessary travel documents will be able to enter the country.