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Ethiopia Has Reopened For Tourism: Covid-19 Entry Requirements

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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.

Blue Nile Falls in Tis Abay, Ethiopia
Blue Nile Falls in Tis Abay, Ethiopia

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.

Konso in South of Ethiopia
Konso in South of Ethiopia

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.

Saint George church in Lalibela, northern Ethiopia
Saint George church in Lalibela, northern Ethiopia

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. 

PCR Testing

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.

UNESCO site in ethiopia
UNESCO site - Gondar, Amhara Region, Ethiopia


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.

Addis Ababa Ethiopia
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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.

ADD airport reopen for tourism in ethiopia

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.

Read More: See all the countries in Africa that have now reopened for tourism, which countries have reopened with no testing/quarantines, and what companies offer travel insurance that covers covid. 

Sources: Ethiopian Airlines / / / / IATA 

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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 


Saturday 10th of October 2020

First of all: Thank you guys for this and all your other great articles! They are really helpful.

I was wondering where you got the info about the quarantine despite the negative PCR test though because on the official Ethiopian e-visa platform there is no mention of this anymore: (link)

Maybe you've got some more insight into this? I'd be very thankful!


Monday 5th of April 2021

@Kashlee Kucheran,

Kashlee Kucheran

Saturday 10th of October 2020

Hi Jo, 3 other sources (linked at the bottom of this article) all say the 7-day is still in effect. So 3 out of 4 has that info, so we assume it is correct. We will keep updating as fresh news comes out of the country, but better safe than sorry!