Alert: Regional State Governments and Dire Dawa Implementing COVID-19 Related Restrictions

Location:  Ethiopia

Event:  Regional State Governments and Dire Dawa Implementing Restrictions on Transportation and/or Gatherings

In addition to the restrictions implemented in Tigray Regional State on Saturday, March 28 (see March 27 MASCOT), the U.S. Embassy is tracking the implementation of restrictions by other regional state governments that may have an impact on American citizens seeking to return to the United States.

The Afar, Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, Harari, Oromia, Somali, and the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s region state governments have banned cross country public transportation through their regions and personally-owned vehicles are restricted to as few as three passengers. Travelers should expect checkpoints during travel for COVID-19 related screenings.

Below is information on some of the restrictions in place based on the information we have to date:


AFAR REGIONAL STATE:   all public transportation to and from the region is banned.

AMHARA REGIONAL STATE:  Implemented transportation restrictions including the following:  (a) mini buses/taxis are required to reduce passengers from 12 to 8; (b) bajajs are required to reduce the number of passengers from 3 to 2 ; (c) all entertainment venues (pool halls; dance clubs; bars etc.) are closed; and (d) large public gatherings (weddings, funerals, meetings etc.)  are banned.

HARARI REGIONAL STATE:  government employees in the region who are over 50 years of age, disabled or pregnant are permitted to stay home, on paid leave.   Employees with a medical history that could potentially endanger their lives if they happen to contract COVID 19 are also to remain home.   Night clubs, bars, and other recreational centers that attract large gatherings are closed until further notice.  Finally, the regional council noted that practicing worship in a crowded situation could facilitate the transmission of COVID 19 and advised people in the region to implement recommendations and decisions from Ethiopian Religious Council fully.

OROMIA REGIONAL STATE:  ordered the majority of government workers to stay home or allow workers to take excused absences

SOMALIA REGIONAL STATE:  all non-essential staff in the regional state administration is to stay home for the next two weeks. Security, fire service, and health workers are considered essential staff.

SOUTHERN NATIONS, NATIONALITIES AND PEOPLES REGIONAL STATE: reportedly restricted any public transportation from Addis Ababa and other regions to SNNPR, except for vehicles crossing through the region without dropping off passengers in the region. Taxis/buses are also to limit their passengers.

DIRE DAWA:  starting on April 1, 2020, no vehicles, including personally-owned vehicles, will be permitted on the streets.  The borders of the city are closed unless the vehicle is exempted by any of the following provisions:  (1) commercial traffic to/from Djibouti; (2) heavy factories working shifts; and (3) commodities markets (i.e. for food and basic life necessities) shall be permitted to remain open.

Also, be aware that other cities and towns may implement their own restrictions that could interfere with travel.