Ethiopia has reopened borders on September 23, 2020 and is now again allowing tourists and foreigners to enter the country.
Ethiopia was closed for a total of 6 months since closing both land and air borders back on March 23rd in response to the pandemic, which came as a real blow to the country’s economy, throwing it off the record-breaking trajectory it was on.
The WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council) stated in 2018 that Ethiopia’s tourism economy saw the largest 1-year growth of any nation in the world, surging by 48.6% that year. That record-breaking year also contributed over $7 billion dollars to the nation and employed over 2 million people. With such growth, the government of Ethiopia made a lofty goal of welcoming over 2 million arrivals for the 2020 year, but sadly border closures eradicated their target.
Now, as of September 23rd, Ethiopia has finally reopened both land and air borders and is welcoming international arrivals, but with new biosecurity measures in place.
Entry Requirements for Ethiopia’s Reopening
Countries Permitted to Travel to Ethiopia
All nations are once again permitted to enter Ethiopia under normal immigration regulations.
All passengers, whether foreigners or nationals, must present proof of a negative PCR test before boarding their flight to Ethiopia, as well at customs upon arrival. The test needs to be taken with results available, no longer than 120 hours prior to the departing flight.
Children under 10 are exempt from the PCR testing requirement.
Even with presenting the negative PCR test, all arriving passengers must also self-quarantine in their place of residence or hotel for 7 days upon arrival.
Transiting Only in Ethiopia
Transiting by air/flight is permitted in Ethiopia, providing the passenger has an onward ticket and they stay within the departure area of the airport. No quarantine or testing is required if the transit is under 24 hours.
Visa Policy of Ethiopia
Only 2 nations (Djibouti and Kenya) can enter Ethiopia Visa-free, so every other nation will have to obtain a visa on arrival, or e-visa depending on the country of citizenship.
E-visas can be purchased online on the official Ethiopian government’s E-Visa portal. 30 days is $52 and 90 days is $72.
Visa on Arrival is available for select countries on the map at ADD airport only. The cost is around $50 USD in cash only.
Credit: Twofortnights on Wikipedia
Have Flights Resumed to Ethiopia?
Yes, in a big way! Ethiopia’s ADD airport is extremely well connected, even as it’s reopening.
Flights have already resumed to dozens of African cities, the Middle East, Asia, and many European cities like London, Brussels, Rome, Geneva, Paris, etc. Even Sao Paulo, Brazil has a direct flight.
All visitors to Ethiopia should make hotel accommodation plans ahead of time to ensure their chosen property has in fact reopened. Restaurants and cafes have mostly reopened with capacity restrictions. Masks and mandatory in all public spaces and on public transportation.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories
Originally published October 7, 2020 with updates