Foreign travel advice

The Gambia

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

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:

  • the whole of The Gambia based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

Travel to The Gambia is subject to entry restrictions

  • To enter The Gambia, you will need to show a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before you arrive in The Gambia
  • You must present a physical copy of the test results to Ministry of Health officials upon arrival. Failure to present a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before you arrive in The Gambia to Ministry of Health officials will result in you being tested and quarantined for 14 days at your own cost
  • If arriving from the United Kingdom you will be expected to take a mandatory COVID-19 test.. You will be transported to a government mandated quarantine facility by Ministry of Health officials and tested. You will be quarantined at your own cost pending a negative COVID-19 result
  • Government provided COVID-19 tests can be taken free of charge at Independence Stadium Bakau, Brusubi Turntable (next to Petroleum House) and Mbollet Market, Brikama

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 The Gambia, 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.

You should avoid large gatherings and protests in public areas, monitor local media for up-to-date information and follow the advice of local authorities. See Political situation

There are a number of checkpoints operating in and around the capital Banjul. Expect your vehicle to be searched if you’re stopped by security forces.

Terrorist attacks in The Gambia can’t be ruled out. Attacks could be indiscriminate. You should be vigilant, especially in places visited by foreigners. See Terrorism

In the years before the new government took office, some foreign nationals were detained by the police in relation to homosexuality. Although homosexuality remains illegal, the new government has taken a softer stance on many issues, including homosexuality. See Local laws and customs

The Gambia has provision in law for the implementation of the death penalty for a number of crimes including arson, murder and treason. In February 2018, President Barrow announced a moratorium on the death penalty. See Local laws and customs

Take care when swimming in the sea. Tides, waves and under currents can all be very strong.

Most visits to The Gambia are trouble-free, although independent travellers are at increased risk due to the lack of local support in an emergency. If you’re travelling independently, make sure next of kin in the UK have details of your itinerary and keep in regular touch. Take out travel and medical insurance before you travel.