Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
GEOGRAPHIC REPORT OF SPREAD IN AFRICA & IMPLICATION FOR TRAVELLERS
The spread of EVD in West Africa has largely been contained within Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia although further contamination within those nations has, regrettably, not declined. Nigeria seems to have the situation under control with no further reports of contamination. Incidents of EVD have been reported in Spain and US but, so far, there are no further reports.
THERE ARE CURRENTLY NO REPORTS OF EBOLA IN EAST OR SOUTHERN AFRICA. With border closures and travel restrictions, access to East and Southern Africa from affected areas in West Africa is difficult at best.
Travel restrictions and preventative measures
Travel restrictions are in place in many African countries as a result of the EVD outbreak. Authorities in a number of countries have implemented flight bans and an increasing number of carriers have indefinitely suspended flights into Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Many land borders have been closed.
Health screening is being undertaken at many international airports that have direct flights into the region or that are major air travel hubs. Travellers with fever or EVD-like symptoms may be subject to quarantine or denied entry or exit from certain countries. If you are unwell, you should consider the possible implications of this health screening should you choose to travel to west Africa.
A summary of restrictions is detailed below, based on the latest confirmed advice from foreign governments. This list is not exhaustive. If you are planning travel, you should be aware that further restrictions may be put in place with little or no notice. Monitor the media closely and before you travel, confirm that borders remain open and/or check with your carrier for the most up to date information on flight schedules.
Countries with widespread and intense transmission of EVD
Guinea: Land borders with Senegal, Sierra Leone and Liberia have been closed. Health screenings have been introduced at border crossings. Travellers with fever or EVD-like symptoms are subject to quarantine or denied entry or exit from the country. Only a small number of carriers are continuing to operate commercial flights.
Sierra Leone: A 60-90 day state of emergency has been imposed, which enables the military to enforce quarantine zones, restrict public movements and limit public gatherings. The government of Sierra Leone has imposed restrictions on internal movement and further travel restrictions are in place in areas bordering Guinea and Liberia. Health screenings have been introduced at border crossings. Travellers with fever or EVD-like symptoms are being subject to quarantine or denied entry or exit from the country. Only a small number of carriers are continuing to operate commercial flights.
Liberia: Liberian authorities have implemented a state of public emergency in response to the EVD outbreak. They have put in place a range of measures to combat the spread of the disease including closing the majority of Liberia’s borders and imposing restrictions on travel within the country. A nationwide curfew is in place between 11 pm and 6 am. Local emergency measures may change without warning. Travellers with fever or EVD-like symptoms are being subject to quarantine or being denied entry or exit from the country. Only a small number of carriers are continuing to operate commercial flights.
Countries with initial cases, localised transmission or contained outbreaks of EVD
Nigeria: A small number of cases of EVD, including eight deaths, were confirmed in Nigeria. The virus has now largely been contained. To prevent further imported cases, health screening measures for passengers arriving and departing are in place at all airports in Nigeria.
Senegal: On 29 August, Senegal confirmed its first case of the disease. The virus has now been contained. In an effort prevent further imported cases, authorities banned the entry of any travellers who have been in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in the previous 40 days. The land border with Guinea is closed. Sea and air borders are also closed to vessels and aircraft from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with the exception of a designated humanitarian air corridor.
United States of America: On 30 September, the US confirmed its first imported case of EVD, from a patient who had recently travelled from west Africa. The patient has since died. Thorough contact tracing is underway and health screening will be put in place at five major US airports for travellers arriving from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Spain: On 6 October, Spain confirmed that a nurse responsible for caring for two patients with imported cases of EVD tested positive for the disease. This represents the first confirmed case of someone being infected with EVD outside of Africa. Thorough contact tracing is underway.
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): An EVD outbreak has been confirmed in Equateur Province in northern DRC. This is a separate lineage of EVD from the west Africa outbreak. Travellers should carefully consider the likely impact on their travel plans of any restrictions on movement that may be imposed in the future.
Botswana: Authorities have banned entry of all travellers who have been in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone in the previous 30 days.
Cabo Verde: Travel is restricted into the country for non-resident foreigners who in the previous 30 days have been to any of the countries affected by EVD.
Cameroon: Authorities have banned entry for any traveller who has been in an EVD affected country, including Nigeria, in the previous 21 days. All air, sea and land borders with Nigeria have temporarily been closed.
Cote d’Ivoire: Authorities have banned entry for any traveller who has been in an affected country in the previous three months (90 days). Land borders with Guinea and Liberia have also reportedly been closed.
Ethiopia: Authorities have introduced additional health screening and information requirements for travellers arriving by air and land. Travellers who register a high temperature during screening may be quarantined.
Equatorial Guinea: The issuance of visas has been suspended for those travelling from central and west Africa. The national carrier Ceiba Intercontinental has reportedly cancelled all incoming and outgoing flights to/from Sao Tome et Principe, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Republic of Congo, Benin, Togo, Nigeria and Gabon. In addition, permission for vessels travelling to or from west, central or east Africa to berth or depart from Malabo port has been suspended.
Gabon: All incoming flights from or via countries affected by EVD, including Nigeria, have been cancelled.
Guinea-Bissau: Authorities have closed the land border with Guinea, reinforced maritime patrols and airport controls, and suspended flights to and from affected countries.
Kenya: Entry of passengers travelling from or through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, is suspended, with the exception of health professionals supporting efforts to contain the outbreak and Kenyan citizens. All passengers are now being screened at Nairobi International Airport.
Malawi: Authorities have introduced health screening at airports and land borders for passengers arriving from west Africa.
Mali: Health screening at airports and land border crossings has been increased.
Mauritius: Authorities have banned the entry of any nationals who have visited Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria or the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the previous two months.
Namibia: Authorities have suspended the entry of passengers travelling from EVD affected countries, with the exception of Namibian citizens.
Rwanda: Authorities have banned entry of all travellers who have been in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in the previous 22 days. Health screening is in place at all border posts. Any non-residents with a fever of 37.5 degrees or above will not be allowed to enter Rwanda.
Seychelles: Citizens of any nationality who have visited Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo will not be allowed to enter the Seychelles.
South Africa: Foreign citizens arriving from EVD affected countries in west Africa will not be allowed to enter South Africa. South African citizens will be allowed to re-enter, but will be subject to screening.
Tanzania: The entry of travellers from affected west African countries is banned. Screening of EBV suspected cases is now commencing.
The Gambia: Authorities have cancelled all incoming flights from Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.
Uganda: Health screening is in place at Entebbe International Airport for all travellers from affected west African countries and from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. An isolation centre has been established at the airport for any suspected EVD cases.
Zambia: The entry of travellers from affected west African countries is banned.
Zimbabwe: Passengers from EVD-affected countries are being identified and interviewed at airports and land borders. Travellers from west Africa are reportedly subject to a 21 day health surveillance
We are aware that the following airlines have changed or suspended flights in the west Africa region as a result of the EVD outbreak. Further suspensions may be put in place at short notice. Before travelling by air in Africa, we strongly recommend that you contact your airline for the latest information on service changes that may affect your plans.
Please check FCO for any further updates / travel advisory.