Foreign travel advice

Eritrea

Important COVID-19 Travel

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays or leisure purposes. Check the rules in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Do not travel unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. In England, from 8 March you must complete a declaration form for international travel (except for travel to Ireland).

Check our advice for all the countries you will visit or transit through. Some countries have closed borders, and any country may further restrict travel or bring in new rules with little warning.

To enter or return to the UK from abroad (except from Ireland), you must follow all the rules for entering the UK. These include providing your journey and contact details, and evidence of a negative COVID-19 test before you travel. When you arrive, you must quarantine and take additional COVID-19 tests. This will take place in a managed quarantine hotel if you enter England from a red list travel ban country, or enter Scotland.

Summary

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The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all travel to:

Within 25km of Eritrea’s land borders, with the exceptions of: the town of Tessenei; the border crossing at Debay Sima – Burre, plus the main paved roads leading to the crossing.

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:

  • the remainder of Eritrea based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks

Explosions were reported in Asmara after dark on 14, 26, 27 and 28 November, as a result of rockets launched from the military conflict in Tigray, Ethiopia. Further attacks cannot be ruled out. You should exercise extreme caution; stay away from government and military sites and airports wherever possible; avoid moving around at night and follow local advice.

Eritrea’s land borders are closed and commercial, international and domestic flights are suspended until further notice. Options for leaving Eritrea are limited. If you are in Eritrea and wish to leave, you should urgently contact the British Embassy in Asmara for details of any upcoming charter flights and register your interest. You can call the local number +291 7 660 207 (8:30am to 3:00pm, Monday to Thursday or 8:30am – midday Friday) or consular services on +44 (0) 20 7008 1500 (24/7). You should be ready to give your passport, visa and identification document details when you call.

Travel to Eritrea is subject to entry restrictions

  • There are no legal entry points into Eritrea for normal travellers. The international airport in Asmara closed on 26 March as a precaution against COVID-19. It is not known when it will re-open and entry will be allowed.

  • All land borders are closed and are not expected to re-open in the near future

See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.

Preparing for your return journey to the UK

If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:

If your return journey to the UK transits another country, you should check whether it is subject to a travel ban or any other additional requirements. If so, contact your travel provider.

Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.

If you’re planning travel to Eritrea, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.

All foreign nationals, including diplomats, must apply in advance for a travel permit to leave the Asmara region. See Travel permits and Consular assistance.

The Eritrean authorities consider all British nationals holding either Eritrean or PFDJ identity documents (including out of date documents) as Eritrean nationals.

Consular support is severely limited in parts of Eritrea. Constraints on travel within Eritrea means the British Embassy in Asmara is unable to offer consular assistance to British nationals outside the greater Asmara area easily. The British Embassy is unable to offer consular assistance to dual nationals in Eritrea. See Dual nationals.

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Eritrea, attacks can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism.

As a result of the closure of the borders, the cost of some basic foodstuffs has risen dramatically and imported goods are becoming increasingly hard to find.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.