COVID-19 Update

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the current situation, many of our staff are working from home. While we are working around the clock, please be patient while waiting to hear back from us regarding questions, requests and changes.

Thank you for your understanding!

 

HEALTH & HYGIENE PREPARATIONS

Hygiene and security (next to flexibility) will be major factors to take into account for travel going forward.

To this end, we have set up standard operating procedures (SOPs) across our supply chain, in accordance with SAFE TRAVEL guidelines set out by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). This starts with measures that will be taken by our staff, ground teams, guides, and drivers. We are communicating with suppliers (hotels, restaurants, sites, airlines) regarding their best practices and participating in a panel of tourism companies who are focused on corona-safe travel.

Please see the details of our safe travel efforts HERE.

 

ETHIOPIA & COVID-19

SEPTEMBER 14th, 2020: The Ministry of Culture and Tourism released an official letter confirming Ethiopia to restart tourism begin of October 2020 following the national tourism protocols. For the complete letter please click HERE
Meanwhile, after 2 weeks of peak values for the daily new Covid-19 cases between mid and end of August (average 1,000-1,500), since beginning of September Ethiopia is experiencing a steady decrease and has now an average of about 500 new cases per day, as shown in the following chart (SOURCE).

AUGUST 22nd, 2020: Ethiopia is planning to restart tourism after the Ethiopian New Year following the WTTC Travel Safety Protocol. First, domestic tourism should open again and slowly international tourism as well. See news article HERE.

AUGUST 18th, 2020: Ethiopia is currently experiencing a flare-up of cases of Covid-19 in all regions and is conducting widespread testing. To date over 600,000 people have been tested with about 31,000 confirmed cases, about 18,000 active cases (mainly in Addis Ababa) and nearly 600 deaths. A tourist health and security protocol is under development to re-open the country for tourism soon. Currently, tourists can enter Ethiopia following certain guidelines (see below), but 14 days quarantine is mandatory and up to date tourist sites remain closed.

AUGUST 7th, 2020: Amid the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, new health guidelines have been put in place for all travellers entering Ethiopia.

  • All travellers arriving at Bole International Airport who provide a certificate showing a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR antigen test, taken within 72 hours of your arrival to Ethiopia will be subject to mandatory self-isolation at home/hotel, for 14 days. Additionally, travellers will be required to provide a sample upon arrival.
  • Travellers who do not have a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test will be placed into mandatory quarantine for 7 days, at a designated site/hotel. After 7 days, you will be tested for coronavirus and if you test negative, you will be required to self-isolate at home/hotel for the remaining 7 days.
  • All costs have to be covered by the traveler.

 

LINKS TO CURRENT TRAVEL ADVISORIES BY SELECTED COUNTRY

 

Q&A

With all of the uncertainty going around, we know there are a lot of questions. Here are answers to some of the more common ones.

Is it safe to travel in Ethiopia?

Safety is our utmost concern. As such, our best advice is to follow the advice of the WHO, the CDC and other government institutions. For those of us living here, life continues mostly as normal. By taking sensible precautions such as wearing a face mask and regularly washing hands and using sanitiser, the real-life risk of contracting the virus remains minimal.

How do you ensure safety of guests?

Preparedness is the first step in ensuring guests' safety. Prior to arrival, guests are encouraged to purchase masks and hand-sanitiser from their home countries. Additionally, they are briefed on precautions to take such as washing hands frequently, avoiding crowded areas, to avoid touching their faces, and so on. Although it is not compulsory in any of our destinations, we do also encourage guests to wear face masks when they are out in public. Our guides and drivers will also be wearing face masks when interacting with guests.

How are postponements handled?

Travel plans can be postponed to any later date for up to 12 months after the original travel date. We will facilitate future arrangements at no cost on a case-by-case basis. In these cases, we will hold paid deposits as credit for your next booking and allow maximum flexibility in rerouting to other destinations that are deemed safer to travel to. When non-refundable payments and deposits have been mentioned in the booking process, these will remain in place until suppliers change their policies.

How late can I wait to cancel or postpone a trip?

You can cancel any booking until 30 days before departure at NO COST. Cancelations on shorter notice will be handled with flexability and only costs incurred will be charged. Additionally, you can postpone your travels for up to 12 months from the original travel date, offering a great deal of flexibility to make changes as needed.

Is it safe to book travel for later this season?

Given the current trajectory of coronavirus, nobody is certain whether travel plans made now for any time this year will follow through. However, it’s safe to say that sooner or later this virus WILL pass. Because of the current situation, many hotels and suppliers are offering incredible discounts. Combined with our new flexible cancellation and postponement policy we feel that now is a great time to book future trips.

How are things looking from 2021 onwards?

As of now there are no indications that this crisis will continue into 2021. However, we are prepared for any scenario and are offering postponement or rerouting to any destination free of charge to ensure our guests have a great holiday in Ethiopia in 2021.