Entry requirements

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Ethiopia set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to. You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Entry to Ethiopia

There are special measures in place at all borders when entering Ethiopia.

Proof of a negative COVID-19 RT PCR test result issued within the previous 120 hours (5 days), starting from the time the sample is given, is required for all air passengers over the age of 10 years entering Ethiopia. Arrivals must then complete 7 days mandatory self-quarantine.

Ethiopia has announced its intention to use the Africa Union Trusted Travel process for validating Covid-19 tests for passengers. All passengers arriving in, departing from or transiting Ethiopia should validate their COVID-19 RT PCR test via the Africa Union Trusted Travel or UNDP Global Haven systems (you will need to register an account on one of these sites). These systems will generate a digital Trusted Travel reference code for your test, which should be presented upon request.

You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.

Transiting Ethiopia

If you are planning to travel via Ethiopia to reach the UK, you should be aware that restrictions apply. Transit passengers are those with an onward ticket to another destination, who do not formally enter Ethiopia. Transiting passengers are exempt from the current quarantine restrictions for COVID-19. The maximum transit time is 72 hours.

Passengers transiting for 24 hours or less can remain in the departure lounge of the airport. For transits over 24 hours, you will be taken to a designated transit hotel for the duration of your stay. On arrival in Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, you should report to the transit desk to confirm your hotel details. After health screening and immigration you will then need to present your hotel details and passport to the desk marked “transit shuttle bus” from where you will be taken to the hotel. You will not be able to leave the hotel during your transit. To the extent airline schedules allow, you should therefore minimise the duration of your transit in Addis Ababa.

Passengers transiting Addis Ababa Bole International Airport are subject to COVID-19 screening measures during transit. See below.

If you have any further questions, you should contact your airline.

Screening on arrival

Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (and other international airports) have put in place measures to screen passengers arriving, departing or transiting through Ethiopia. Screening may include checking COVID-19 test results, temperature measurements, completing a health screening questionnaire and answering questions from health officials on recent travel and your accommodation details for your self-isolation (see Quarantine requirements below).

Anyone who is suspected of having COVID-19 will be taken to a government designated isolation centre where they will receive appropriate follow-up care and will be tested. Any person that tests positive for COVID-19 will be prohibited from entering Ethiopia.

Anyone with a pre-existing condition that requires regular medicines should bring sufficient amounts to cover a potential unplanned additional 2 week stay.

COVID-19 Test and Quarantine requirements

Proof of a negative COVID-19 RT PCR test result issued within the previous 120 hours (5 days), starting from the time the sample is given, is required for all air passengers over the age of 10 years entering Ethiopia (except diplomats). Only RT PCR tests will be accepted. You may need to demonstrate you have such a test certificate before boarding your flight.

You will need to complete 7 days mandatory self-isolation on arrival. You must provide the address for your self-isolation upon arrival. However, passengers who have a certificate of recovery from COVID -19 within the last 90 days or have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are not required to self-isolate.

Diplomats are encouraged to present a negative RT PCR COVID-19 test certificate as above. If they do not present a negative COVID-19 RT PCR test certificate, they will be expected to get an RT PCR or Antigen-Based COVID-19 test upon arrival. If the result is negative, they will not be required to self-isolate. If diplomats do not present a negative test certificate or refuse to get the test on arrival, they will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Ethiopia has announced its intention to use the Africa Union Trusted Travel process for validating COVID-19 tests for passengers. All passengers arriving in, departing from or transiting Ethiopia should validate their COVID-19 RT PCR test via the Africa Union Trusted Travel or UNDP Global Haven systems (you will need to register an account on one of these sites). These systems will generate a digital Trusted Travel reference code for your test, which should be presented upon request.

You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.

Quarantine requirements

All passengers arriving into the country (except diplomats) are required to present a negative RT PCR COVID-19 test certificate, dated within the previous 120 hours (5 days). Only RT PCR tests will be accepted. You may need to demonstrate you have such a test certificate before boarding your flight.

Most passengers will be subject to 7 days mandatory self-isolation on arrival. You must provide the address for your self-isolation upon arrival.

Passengers who have a certificate of recovery from COVID -19 within the last 90 days or have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are not required to self-isolate.

Diplomats are encouraged to present a negative RT PCR COVID-19 test certificate as above. If they do not present a negative COVID-19 RT PCR test certificate, they will be expected to get an RT PCR or Antigen-Based RT COVID-19 test on arrival. If the result is negative, they will not be required to self-isolate.

If diplomats do not present a negative test certificate or refuse to get the test on arrival, they will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Land border quarantine

Measures are in place when arriving into the country across land borders.

Those crossing with a negative RT PCR COVID-19 test certificate dated within the previous 120 hours (5 days) with digital reference code (see Entry to Ethiopia) will be screened for symptoms and required to self-isolate at home for 7 days. Those that do not present a negative test certificate will be screened and required to self-isolate for 14 days. Only PCR tests will be accepted.

Anyone who has a certificate of recovery from COVID -19 within 90 days or who has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will not be required to complete 7 days self-quarantine.

Anyone who is suspected of having COVID-19 will be taken to a government designated isolation centre where they will receive appropriate follow-up care and a further test. The standard of isolation centres varies significantly around the country.

You should check for the latest information with local authorities before travelling to the border.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

You will need a visa with a valid travel document to enter Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian authorities have now resumed their eVisa service but the visas-on-arrival service remains temporarily suspended. All visitors must get an eVisa or obtain a visa from the Ethiopian Embassy closest to their place of legal residence before travelling. You will need to show a valid visa before boarding your flight and upon entry. Holders of valid Diplomatic ID, Ethiopian Temporary Residents Permits or Ethiopian Origin ID (Yellow Cards) will continue to be allowed entry.

The penalty for overstaying your visit visa is USD10 per person per day. If you overstay you will have to pay your fine in full before you are able to leave Ethiopia. Visitors entering Ethiopia without a valid travel document and Ethiopian visa may encounter imprisonment and/or pay six months or more overstay penalty in USD.

To obtain a business visa for Ethiopia you may need prior approval from the Ethiopian Immigration, Nationality and Vital Events Agency office before submitting your application to the Ethiopian Embassy. You should check the latest instructions with your nearest Ethiopian Embassy

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Ethiopia. Make sure you have two blank pages in your passport on arrival.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

Immigration status

If you’re visiting Ethiopia on a tourist visa, you will be unable to take employment, including voluntary employment. If visitors are caught in breach of their immigration status they may face severe fines or possible imprisonment.

Once you’re in Ethiopia you will not be able to change your immigration status. If you have any concerns about your immigration status in Ethiopia, you should contact the local immigration authorities.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from Ethiopia. UK Emergency Passports (EPs) are accepted for airside transit and exit from Ethiopia.