Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Ethiopia 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 are operating between Ethiopia and the UK, as well as other European and international destinations. You should contact your airline or travel company for the latest information.

Some countries require you to take a COVID-19 test prior to arrival or transit. Check our travel advice for entry requirements for the country you intend to visit and any countries you will transit through.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Ethiopia, including quarantine measures.

Returning to the UK

Travelling from and returning to the UK

Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting. If you will pass through a red list country, book your hotel quarantine package before travelling to 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 Ethiopia

Travel to the airport

Addis Ababa (Bole International) airport remains open, including for transit passengers. You should arrive at the airport at least two hours before your scheduled departure time. You will need a printed copy of your itinerary, e-ticket or boarding pass in order to be allowed to enter the airport terminal. You should check whether you need a negative COVID-19 test to travel to your destination or for countries you are transiting; this may be requested before your departure. You should comply with all local restrictions.

Local coronavirus measures

Government directives to help limit the spread of COVID-19 currently include:

  • Any person known to be infected with coronavirus is prohibited from entering the country, mixing or meeting with other people in any way that may spread the virus
  • Gatherings (including religious gatherings, weddings and funerals) are limited to 50 people. Gatherings of over 50 people must be authorised by the relevant authority. Organisers and participants must comply with all measures outlined in the Ministry of Health Directive, from page 20. Personal in-home gatherings such as birthday parties may only include family members.
  • Deliberate physical contact is banned, including greetings by handshake
  • Wearing of face masks is mandatory in all public places (except for children under 6 years or those with a relevant provable condition)
  • Individuals will be expected to ensure that they are 2 adult strides apart at all times
  • Schools, universities and daycare centres are banned from operating until appropriate safety measures are agreed
  • Any person that suspects they have COVID-19 must report to the Ministry of Health or Ethiopian Public Health Institute (call 8335 or 952) to be tested
  • All sectors and businesses (including hotels, cinemas, tour operators) must provide necessary sanitising material and information to customers and staff, maintain 2 strides distance where appropriate and maintain the cleanliness of their premises. Cafes, bars and restaurants are limited to serving three people per table. Occupancy limits are in place for nightclubs as well as rules on no contact. Sports may take place in compliance with coronavirus measures, but no spectators are allowed apart from participants
  • Visits to care homes for the elderly are prohibited. Visits to prisons must comply with coronavirus measures
  • Public transport providers must comply with relevant coronavirus measures, including reduced passenger loads, mask-wearing and ventilation
  • Those required to self-isolate at home should follow the correct procedures (page 13, Ministry of Health Directive)

Failure to comply with these measures is punishable by criminal law. You should comply with all measures, wear a mask in public, and monitor local media for further updates.

There may be local restrictions to public transport to help limit the spread of coronavirus. You should follow the advice of the local authorities. For further information see Local Travel

Accommodation

Most hotels and accommodation remain open. You should follow national coronavirus measures. See ‘local coronavirus measures’ in Travel in Ethiopia.

Public places and services

There are restrictions in place for public spaces, including social distancing, limited gathering and wearing of face masks. See ‘local coronavirus measures’ in Travel in Ethiopia.

Health

What to do if you have symptoms

Residents and people already in Ethiopia who start to feel symptoms should self-isolate and call the Ethiopian coronavirus helplines on either 8335 or 952. You will be asked some questions and may need to be tested.

If you test positive but have mild or no symptoms, you will need to self-isolate at home where possible. The health authorities will make follow up checks by phone or in person. If you test positive and cannot self-isolate you will need to stay at a government designated isolation centre until you have recovered and tested negative with follow up tests. Visitors on holiday who are not staying with family and friends, cannot self-isolate at ‘home’ and will not be allowed to choose where to self-isolate.

Those experiencing more serious symptoms will be provided healthcare at a designated hospital.

Private healthcare facilities

Private healthcare facilities used by the international community with the capability to respond to coronavirus cases exist, but capacity is limited. Most private healthcare facilities continue to offer treatment for other illnesses or injuries. You should check with your insurance company which facilities they recommend and phone the healthcare facility before you visit.

For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.

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 Ethiopia

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

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Ethiopia

We will update this page when the Government of Ethiopia announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.

The Ethiopian national vaccination programme started in March 2021 and is using the AstraZeneca (Covishield) and Sinopharm vaccines.

Ethiopia is part of the global COVAX scheme. Resident British and foreign nationals within designated priority groups can obtain a vaccine from their local woreda clinic, where available if they choose to join the programme. You will need to present valid ID. Current priority groups are frontline workers, those over 65 or over 55 with an underlying health condition. Adults over 36 and over 18 with underlying health conditions are now eligible in Addis Ababa only. There are limited supplies of vaccines.

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 Ethiopia, 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.

Further information

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

For 24/7 assistance in Ethiopia, contact the British Embassy in Addis Ababa on +251 116 170 100.

If you are staying or living in Ethiopia, further information is available in our guide to Living in Ethiopia.

Useful Ethiopian links during the coronavirus pandemic include: