Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Cotonou, Benin

Location: Benin


The availability of commercial flights from Benin to the United States is increasingly limited, with some carriers having suspended flights to/from Cotonou.  Many travelers seeking to depart Benin to return to the United States have also reported unexpected flight cancellations.  As of March 23, the only remaining commercial options of which the Embassy is aware to depart Benin and return to the United States are Ethiopian Airlines and Air France.  Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.

Passengers traveling to the United States and transiting Schengen countries, the UK, or Ireland should ensure that they are flying into a U.S. airport with enhanced entry screening as listed on the Department of Homeland Security’s website. U.S. citizen passengers without a confirmed onward ticket to the United States may be denied boarding for flights transiting the European Union. Ethiopia may require transit passengers to undergo quarantine upon arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.

U.S. citizens who are considering returning to the United States are urged to work with Ethiopian Airlines or Air France immediately to make travel arrangements while flights are still available.  If your travel to the United States has been disrupted, please contact your airline.  Booking and local contact information can be found at the following sites:

Ethiopian Airlines: and

Air France:

If you are unable to book a flight through Ethiopian Airlines or Air France directly, please contact the embassy’s American Citizen Services Unit using one of the options shown below.

The most recent announcements from the Government of Benin concerning coronavirus, including restrictions on travel to and from Benin, are available on the government’s French language website, here:

Actions to Take:

  • Review the Global Level 4 Health Advisory advising U.S. citizens to reconsider travel abroad due to COVID-19 and take into account that emergency medical care may not be available anywhere within Benin.
  • Review travel plans carefully and make preparations to abide by Benin’s self-isolation policy upon arrival or re-entry into Benin.
  • Follow all screening procedures while arriving at a port of entry in Benin.
  • Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
  • For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19 please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
  • Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on for the latest information.
  • Check with your airlines or cruise lines regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
  • Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Benin.
  • Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the U.S., including the list of U.S. airports that Americans returning from the affected countries are now be required to travel through 13 airports.