Foreign travel advice

Somalia

Important COVID-19 Travel

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not travel, including abroad, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays and other leisure purposes.

Check the rules that apply to you in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you intend to travel to the UK from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.

Before you return to the UK you must provide your journey and contact details. You must self-isolate when you enter the UK from any foreign country except Ireland, unless you have a valid exemption.

When you enter England from abroad (except Ireland), you must follow the new requirements for quarantining and taking additional COVID-19 tests. For those travelling from a country on the banned travel list you will be required to quarantine in a hotel. Different rules apply for arrivals into England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you are legally permitted to travel abroad, check our advice on your country of destination. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning.

Summary

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

the whole of Somalia based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks

In addition and for security reasons the FCDO advises against all travel to:

  • Somalia, including Somaliland

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:

  • the cities of Hargeisa and Berbera

Any British nationals in areas of Somalia to which the FCDO advise against all travel should leave. Any British nationals in Hargeisa or Berbera whose travel is not essential should leave.

If you visit Hargeisa or Berbera, exercise a heightened level of vigilance and take care in public places where people gather. Monitor local and international media to avoid any demonstration or disturbance taking place. Leave any area of unrest quickly and don’t attempt to watch or photograph it.

On 19 February, armed clashes involving security forces took place in Mogadishu. The situation remains volatile; you should exercise extreme caution and stay away from any demonstrations, as they may become violent.

Travel to Somalia is subject to entry restrictions

  • COVID-19 tests have been required for incoming passengers and you will need to self-isolate for 14 days after arrival.

Travel to Somaliland is subject to entry restrictions

  • If you’re arriving into Somaliland by air then you will not need to quarantine if you have evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 96 hours (4 days) of arrival
  • If you don’t have this evidence then you may have to spend 14 days in quarantine at your own expense in a government appointed facility

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 Somalia , 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.

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Somalia. There is a high threat of kidnap throughout the country. Terrorist groups have made threats against westerners and those working for western organisations. There is a constant threat of terrorist attack in Mogadishu and terrorists continue to plan attacks against westerners in the rest of Somalia, including Somaliland. Terrorist attacks could be indiscriminate, including in crowded places, high-profile events, events involving government officials and in places visited by foreigners. Due to their use by government officials, hotels are considered legitimate targets by terrorist groups. See Terrorism

There is a high threat of maritime crime in the territorial and international waters off Somalia and attack remains a significant threat in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. See Sea travel

Conflict and environmental problems such as drought and flooding have displaced hundreds of thousands of people, in all areas of the country. See Local travel

Land borders with countries neighbouring Somalia may close at short notice. You should check with local authorities before travelling to the border. You should also monitor Travel Advice for Ethiopia, Kenya or Djibouti. You should not cross the border without the correct documents.

Consular support is severely limited in Somalia. The British Embassy in Mogadishu does not provide consular services. If you’re in Somalia (excluding Somaliland) and need urgent help from the UK government (eg if you’ve been arrested or you’re concerned about forced marriage), contact the British High Commission in Nairobi. If you’re in Somaliland, you should contact the British Embassy in Addis Ababa. If you’re in the UK and are concerned about a British national in Somalia (including Somaliland), call the FCDO on 020 7008 5000.