Ethiopia’s borders remain open during the coronavirus pandemic. Foreign citizens are able to apply for an Ethiopian visa and travel to the country provided they meet all the entry requirements now in place.
Visitors from overseas need to take extra steps when preparing for their trip to Ethiopia. The government has introduced a PCR test requirement for most travelers.
This article contains important information about the COVID-19 test to enter Ethiopia including:
- When to have the PCR test for Ethiopia
- Which type of COVID-19 test is accepted
- Where to get tested for coronavirus
- Exemptions to the COVID-19 test requirement
COVID-19 Test for Ethiopia Requirements
Passengers are required to present a medical certificate showing a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding a flight to Ethiopia.
Travelers who arrive at the airport without a negative test result will not be granted permission to board the flight and will be unable to continue their journey to Ethiopia.
Exemptions to Ethiopia’s COVID-19 test requirement
Transit passengers and children aged 10 years and under are exempt from the COVID-19 test requirement.
Diplomatic and service passport holders and their families are encouraged, but not required, to have a medical certificate showing a negative COVID-19 test to travel to Ethiopia.
Passengers with a Laissez-Passer issued by the United Nations or an African Union state and their immediate family members are also exempt.
Which Type of COVID-19 Test for Ethiopia?
Travelers must have the right kind of coronavirus test for Ethiopia. There are several different COVID-19 tests available, and the Ethiopian authorities accept only specific types.
The Ethiopian government has stipulated that a Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test is required. The RT-PCR is a molecular diagnostic test that detects whether the individual is currently infected with coronavirus disease.
RT-PCR test results are generally highly accurate and rarely need to be repeated. Samples are sent to a laboratory for analysis which means it can take a few days to receive the results.
Can I have a Rapid Diagnostic Test to travel to Ethiopia?
Rapid Diagnostic test (RDT antibody test) results are not accepted to travel to Ethiopia.
Although very fast, results are usually available in 15 to 30 minutes, the RDT antibody tests are less accurate than RT-PCR tests. Negative results often need to be confirmed with a molecular test.
How Soon to Have a COVID-19 Test for Ethiopia
To minimize the chances of getting infected in the time between having the test and boarding a flight, travelers must have the COVID-19 test close to their departure date.
When traveling to Ethiopia, the medical certificate showing the negative test result must have been issued within 120 hours (5 days) of arrival.
Test certificates issued more than 120 hours in advance will not be accepted.
Do Vaccinated Travelers Need a COVID-19 PCR Test for Ethiopia?
Many countries have now started coronavirus vaccination programs. As a result, travelers who have already received the jabs may be wondering whether they need a COVID-19 test to visit Ethiopia.
At the moment, vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers are subject to the same entry requirements: everyone needs to present the negative test result certificate to enter the country.
Vaccine certificates are now being discussed by counties across the world however it is not yet clear whether Ethiopia is considering accepting such a document.
Where to Have a COVID-19 Test to Travel to Ethiopia
Test results should be obtained from one of the approved COVID-19 RT-PCR laboratories in the country they are traveling from.
A list of approved labs in different countries is available online.
Can I get tested for coronavirus at Addis Ababa airport?
No COVID-19 testing will be done on arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. All passengers who require a COVID-19 test to enter Ethiopia must get tested before departure.
Airline staff members are required to confirm each passenger is carrying a negative test certificate before boarding the aircraft.
Having a COVID-19 Test in Ethiopia
International visitors who require a negative coronavirus certificate to return home can get tested in Ethiopia.
The following clinics in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, are now offering COVID-19 testing for international travel:
- International Clinic Laboratories Ethiopia
- New Silk Road Hospital
The PCR test should be booked in advance during the days leading up to the return flight. It is important to bear in mind that test requirements differ from country to country. Many nations require that the test is carried out no more than 72 hours in advance.
Other COVID-19 Entry Requirements for Ethiopia
Anyone planning a trip to Ethiopia in the coming weeks and months should stay up to date with all the coronavirus entry restrictions in Ethiopia. As well as having a PCR test, overseas arrival may also be subject to:
- Quarantine on arrival
- Screening at the airport
These exceptional health measures are temporary and will be lifted as soon as it is considered safe to do so. Travelers are also reminded that standard Ethiopia visa requirements and entry restrictions continue to apply.