Foreign travel advice

The Gambia

Important COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available. Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving.

Summary

Coronavirus: stay up to date

There are currently no further special flights organised from The Gambia. This travel advice will be updated with further information on options to return to the UK as soon as this is available. See Return to the UK

The State of Emergency in The Gambia was extended by 21 days on 19 May. Schools, mosques, churches and non-essential businesses remain closed. Markets are operating reduced hours and public gatherings are prohibited.

If you’re visiting The Gambia and are unable to return to the UK, see Staying during coronavirus

The Gambia’s airspace has been closed since 23 March, with the exception of medical cargo flights. The land border with Senegal is currently closed to almost all arrivals. Anyone entering The Gambia is subject to a 14 day quarantine requirement in a designated Government facility. See Entry requirements

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.

There has been an increase in the number and frequency of protests in The Gambia, primarily in the Kombo districts. You should avoid large gatherings 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

Take care when using the ferry between Banjul and Barra. See River travel

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.