Flight Watch on the Ebola Virus – Focus: West Africa

Flight Watch on the Ebola Virus – Focus: West Africa

Things to consider when flying to West Africa:

Kindly anticipate travel disruption due to Ebola-related flight bans and health screening measures for your upcoming flights to Africa.

African Health Authorities have started implementing flight bans on certain African countries to limit the spread of the Ebola virus. Rigorous health screening measures are being implemented across the region. Kindly ensure that you take the necessary precautions listed below and allow a delay in your schedule when flying to Africa to undergo certain health screening checks.

Click here to view the cause and symptoms of the Ebola Virus

Entry Restrictions:

  • Gabon stated on 22 August that it is restricting the issuance of entry visas to travellers from Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria on a case-by-case basis.
  • Cape Verde on 19 August banned nationals from Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Liberia from entering the country for the next three months.
  • Rwanda, according to the US state department on 22 August, has reportedly banned entry to travellers who have visited Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone in the 22 days prior to travel.
  • Senegal on 21 August closed its land border with Guinea, while the country’s sea and air borders will also be closed to vessels and aircraft from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
  • Chad on 21 August closed its land border with Nigeria at Lake Chad. The country earlier banned the entry of any travellers originating or transiting through Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria or Sierra Leone; airlines serving the country have rerouted flights accordingly.
  • South Africa on 21 August banned the entry of all non-citizens travelling from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
  • Botswana on 19 August banned entry of travellers who have been in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone in the 30 days prior to travel.
  • Kenya on 19 August suspended entry of passengers travelling from and through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, excluding health professionals supporting efforts to contain the outbreak and Kenyan citizens.
  • Namibia has banned all travellers from countries affected by Ebola, with the exception of Namibian citizens.

Flights and Other Transport:

Countries that have implemented Ebola-related travel restrictions:

  • Gabon has banned the entry of flights and ships from countries affected by Ebola.
  • Senegal has banned flights from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
  • Cameroon has banned flights from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
  • Côte d’Ivoire and Gambia have banned all passenger flights from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
  • Nigeria has suspended flights to the country operated by Gambian national carrier Gambia Bird.
  • South Sudan has suspended all flights to and from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Details of airlines that have restricted flights to Ebola-affected countries:

  • The Togo-based carrier Asky Airlines has suspended flights to and from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
  • Arik Air (Nigeria), Gambia Bird and Kenya Airways have suspended services to Liberia and Sierra Leone.
  • British Airways has suspended flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone until at least 31 August.
  • Ceiba Intercontinental, the national airline of Equatorial Guinea, has reportedly suspended flights to West African countries.
  • Emirates Airlines has suspended flights to Guinea.
  • Korean Air suspended flights to and from Kenya from 20 August.
  • Senegal Airlines has suspended flights to and from Conakry (Guinea) until further notice.

Other airlines have modified their routes but are still operating regular scheduled services:

  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Brussels Airlines. However, according to unconfirmed reports, the airline has suspended flights to Liberia until 29 August for operational reasons.

Health Screening:

The following countries have now implemented entry/exist health screenings:

  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • Chad
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Nigeria
  • Namibia
  • South Sudan
  • Sierra Leone.

Other countries within Africa may have implemented similar health screening measures; this is not limited to the closure of cross-border travel in an effort to limit the spread of the virus.

Travel Advice:

  • Defer non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
  • Allow additional time during arrival and departure to pass through enhanced medical screening.
  • Do not travel if you are sick. Persons with fever or other Ebola-related symptoms may be taken to designated centers or have entry/exit denied.