Alert: Revised Quarantine Requirements for Arriving Travelers

EVENT: Revised Quarantine Requirements for Incoming Travelers

The Ethiopian Ministry of Health issued a new directive revising, but not eliminating, the 14-day mandatory quarantine requirements upon arrival in Ethiopia.  It primarily impacts travelers who have a home in Ethiopia.

American citizens arriving at Bole International airport with proof of a negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours prior to arrival that are free of signs and symptoms of COVID-19 at screening:

Travelers who have family in Ethiopia with whom they can safely quarantine at home in accordance with Article 26 (below) will submit a sample and be registered with health authorities.  They are then permitted to complete their 14-day mandatory quarantine at their home so long as they comply with Article 25 (set forth below).

American citizens arriving at Bole International airport without a negative RT-PCR test:

These travelers who have family in Ethiopia with whom they can safely quarantine at home, the mandatory stay in a government-approved hotel has been reduced from 14 to seven (7) days.  Travelers with a family home to go to may complete the next seven days of their mandatory quarantine in the family home, so long as the conditions set forth below in Article 26 are met.  Anyone self-quarantining at home must follow the requirements set forth in Article 25 (set forth below).

At this time, it is our understanding that if you do not have a family home that complies with Article 26, below, you are required to quarantine in a government-approved hotel at your cost or in a government facility until you are tested negative for COVID-19.

The Ethiopian Public Health Institute has not released an official English-language version of the directive.  The directive is available in Amharic  We are providing an unofficial translation for your convenience.  However, the final interpretation and decision is that of the Ethiopian authorities and the Embassy cannot and will not interfere with such decisions.





Article 25.  Suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 should take the following precautions

  • Individuals who are self-isolating in their house should have a separate room with good airflow from windows and doors.
  • If there is no adequate airflow or space, should maintain at least 2 meters physical distance from others and must cover mouth and nose with a mask (coverings).
  • Should self-isolate for 14 days at home
  • If the individual develops signs or symptoms of COVID-19, they must report by telephone to a health institution working on case management (i.e. EPHI or nearby health facility)
  • Should use precaution and respiratory etiquette when sneezing by covering the mouth and nose.  If using tissue paper, must dispose carefully into a lidded plastic waste bin.  Individuals are also expected to use masks and gloves, which should be disposed of properly using lidded plastic waste bins.
  • Perform hand hygiene frequently with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub after all contacts
  • Refrain from coming into contact with family members and others; everyone should maintain physical distancing.
  • Refrain or minimize from sharing salon (living rooms), rest rooms, kitchens and other common areas with family members.
  • Avoid touching doors and other household items. If touched, make sure to clean them appropriately.
  • If individuals share the toilet and must use common areas, make sure to clean using water and soap.

Article 26.  COVID-19 case management requirements for self-isolation at home applies to the following individuals:

  • Be willing to stay home and receive medical support in their home
  • Have mild or no signs of symptoms of COVID-19
  • Need to have someone at home for support
  • Need to have basic materials, like food and other essentials
  • Need to have masks and sanitation materials for roommates
  • If no person residing in the house has underlying conditions, such as urinary tract infection, HIV, TB, cancer, heart conditions, blood disorders, etc., that increase their risk.
  • Provide reassurance to the authority that he/she is willing not to go out and not to allow others to enter the house
  • Availability of a separate room in the house or be a minimum of 2 meters distance from their families
  • Should be willing to be supported by healthcare workers through recovery

Article 27. Case management requirements for isolation outside of health facilities at government sites, which may include universities, schools, sports centers, and others applies to the following individuals:

  •  If individuals cannot fulfil the requirements laid out in Article 26, they will be subject to isolation in a designated government facility.
  •  Have mild or no signs of symptoms of COVID-19
  • Live alone or do not have family support during their self-isolation period
  • Have difficulty in getting food or other essentials
  •  Would risk exposing family members because of their presence in the house

Article 28. Private institutions and health facilities which are authorized by the government to be case management site. Care at private institutions applies to the following individuals:

* Willing to be admitted into private institution
* Individuals that can afford the cost of a private institution
* Have mild COVID-19 symptoms or are asymptomatic, or if there are a number of people in the home which may be potentially exposed.
* MOH will prepare a manual for private health services providers

Article 29: Travelers arriving at Bole International travelers with real time PCR results from outside of Ethiopia

* Travelers with a negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours of arrival who are free of signs and symptoms of COVID-19 at screening will submit a sample and be registered before they are allowed to mandatory quarantine at their home for 14 days.
* Based on sub article 1, if the sample is confirmed positive, based on their location, the traveler will be managed according to the case management guidelines [see Articles 25-28].
* If the traveler is outside of Addis and the sample is confirmed positive, the regional government and health bureau will be notified, and the traveler will be subject to case management and follow-up.
* If the traveler has signs and symptoms of COVID-19 at the airport on arrival, they will be subject to quarantine at a government facility until they get a lab result.
* Travelers who are confirmed positive are prohibited from entering Ethiopia.
Article 30: Quarantine guidelines for travelers without RT-PCR test result entering via BIA

* Travelers without a test certificate, from their departing nations, will submit a sample for testing and are subject to quarantine and follow-up for 7 days at a government designated facility.
* Based on sub-article 1, if the RT-PCR test result is negative, travelers will be provided advice and must quarantine at home for an additional 7 days-a total of 14 days.
* If the lab result test is positive while in the government facility, the traveler will be managed according to the case management guidelines.
Article 32: Guidelines for transit passengers at Bole International Airport

* Transit passengers coming through BIA must maintain physical distance of 2 meters, perform hand hygiene, and are required to wear masks (mouth and nose coverings).
* Ethiopian Airlines and other concerned bodies are is responsible for managing transit passengers while in Bole International Airport. Transit passengers are not permitted to depart the airport and entering in the city.
* If the transit passengers stay in Ethiopia for more than 24 hours, they are subject to mandatory quarantine at a designated hotel until the departure of their onward flight.

Article 33: Land Border crossing

* All incoming travelers will be screened for temperature and will be quarantined for 7 days follow-up at a nearby government quarantine facility.
* Based on article 1, samples will be taken from incoming travelers and tested at a nearby laboratory, if possible, with PCR capacity. If no PCR capacity exists nearby, the travelers may be tested with a Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) approved by Ethiopian Federal Drug Administration Authority.
* As per article 2, the sample will be taken on the 6th day of the quarantine, if the test is negative then the traveler will be allowed to mandatory self-quarantine the remaining 7 days at their home for a total of 14 days. If positive, the individual will be managed according to case management guidelines.
* As per article 2, RDT testing or IgG testing is negative, the travelers will be provided advices and allowed to go home for 14 days mandatory self-quarantine. The traveler will be required a RT-PCR testing.
* As per article 4, if the RT-PCR testing is positive, travelers must isolated at the nearby health facilities for case management and follow-up.