Foreign travel advice

Sierra Leone

Summary

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office no longer advise against all but essential travel to Sierra Leone. You should check this travel advice carefully before planning any travel to Sierra Leone, and continue to take precautions against infection by Ebola.

The World Health Organisation confirmed a second case of Ebola in the Tonkolili District of Sierra Leone on 20 January 2016. The patient was a relative of the person whose death from Ebola was confirmed on 15 January 2016. Sierra Leone was previously declared Ebola transmission free on 7 November 2015.

If you’re concerned that you might have been exposed to Ebola, or are showing symptoms, you should seek immediate medical advice. If you’re in the UK call NHS on 111. You should also follow the health advice on the NHS Choices website.

Getting medical care in Sierra Leone may be difficult because the health infrastructure has been severely strained by the Ebola outbreak. Although separate treatment facilities were set up to respond to the Ebola outbreak, general medical facilities throughout Sierra Leone are unable to provide the same standard of healthcare as in the UK. Many medical facilities expect to be paid up-front for treatment.

If you travel to Sierra Leone, especially whilst on business, you should stay in contact with your employer or host organisation about the support that they can provide to you while you’re in the country, and if you should wish to leave. Screening measures are in place for both inbound and outbound travellers at Lungi International Airport.

If you travel outside the Freetown peninsula, try to complete your travel during the hours of daylight, inform your employers of your whereabouts and make sure they have copies of your itinerary. Temperature screening check points are in operation on the main roads outside of the capital and can be busy.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel and make sure your insurance specifically includes medical repatriation.