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Ethiopia Travel Advisory

Reconsider travel to Ethiopia due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution in Ethiopia due to civil unrest and communication disruptions. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Ethiopia due to COVID-19.

Ethiopia has lifted stay at home orders and resumed some transportation options and business operations. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Ethiopia.

Do Not Travel To:

  • Border area with Somalia due to potential for terrorism, kidnapping, and landmines.
  • Border areas with Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, and Eritrea due to crime, armed conflict, and civil unrest.

Reconsider Travel To:

  • Somali Regional State due to potential for terrorism.
  • Ethiopia’s Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR) due to civil unrest.
  • The East Hararge region and the Guji zone of Oromia State due to armed conflict and civil unrest.
  • Benishangul Gumuz and the western part of Oromia State due to armed conflict and civil unrest.

Incidents of civil unrest and ethnic violence may occur without warning.

The Government of Ethiopia has restricted or shut down internet, cellular data, and phone services during and after civil unrest. These restrictions impede the U.S. Embassy’s ability to communicate with, and provide consular services to, U.S. citizens in Ethiopia.

The U.S. Embassy has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens outside of Addis Ababa. As a precaution, U.S. government personnel must request permission for any travel outside of Addis Ababa (personal and official), and are required to carry personnel tracking devices and, in some cases, satellite phones.

Read the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Ethiopia:

  • See the U.S. Embassy’s web page regarding COVID-19.
  • Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Carry a copy of your passport and visa and leave originals in your hotel safe.
  • Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Ethiopia.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Border Area with Somalia—Do Not Travel

Terrorists maintain a presence in Somali towns near the Ethiopian border, presenting a risk of cross-border attacks and kidnappings.

Landmines are present in this region.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Border Areas with Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, and Eritrea—Do Not Travel

Crime, armed conflict, and the potential for ethnic conflict exist near the Ethiopian borders with Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, and Eritrea.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Somali Regional State—Reconsider Travel

Somali Regional State is close in proximity to terrorist organizations in Somalia, which have aspirations to conduct terrorist attacks in Ethiopia.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Ethiopia’s Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR)—Reconsider Travel

Civil unrest in the region has resulted in deaths, looting, and the burning of buildings.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

The East Hararge Region and Guji Zone of Oromia State— Reconsider Travel

Civil unrest and armed conflict have resulted in injuries and deaths in parts of Oromia State. Government security forces have used lethal force in some areas.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Benishangul Gumuz and the western part of Oromia State— Reconsider Travel

Civil unrest and armed conflict have resulted in injuries and deaths around the border between Benishangul Gumuz and the western part of Oromia State. Government security forces have used lethal force in some areas.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to COVID-19 information.