Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Cotonou, Benin
In accordance with local public health recommendations, the United States Embassy in Cotonou, Benin, will be closed for all but emergency services from March 30 to April 13, 2020. U.S. citizens with emergencies should contact American Citizen Services at ACSCotonou@state.gov or call +229 21 36 75 00.
Those seeking emergency visa assistance should email CotonouRDV@state.gov.
On March 23, 2020, the Government of Benin issued a decree establishing health cordons around the municipalities of Cotonou, Abomey-Calavi, Allada, Ouidah, Sèmè-Podji, Porto-Novo, Akpro-Missérété and Adjarra. This order will be in effect from midnight March 30, 2020, until midnight April 13, 2020. During this period, public transportation will be suspended and movement of people within and between the zones will be restricted to essential travel only.
In a separate order on March 22, 2020, the government of Benin implemented additional measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, closing all places of worship until April 5, 2020. All cultural events have also been cancelled.
Visit the COVID-19 website of the Government of Benin for additional information on these new measures.
Traveling to Benin
All travelers arriving in Benin will be required to self-isolate in a government-designated quarantine facility for a period of 14 days. For non-Beninese travelers, the costs of stay will be incurred by the traveler.
Most regularly scheduled commercial flights to and from Cotonou have been cancelled and most carriers have suspended operations. As of March 25, 2020, Ethiopian Airlines is the only commercial carrier serving Cotonou’s Cadjehoun Airport with a regularly scheduled flight. Air France has offered a specially scheduled flight from Cotonou to Paris with priority for French citizens and may do so again in coming weeks. 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 available. Booking and local contact information can be found at the following sites:
Ethiopian Airlines: https://www.ethiopianairlines.com/aa/book/booking and
Air France: https://www.airfrance.bj/. Flights may only be available by contacting the Air France Office in Cotonout at +229 21 31 99 33 or in person: 4130 Avenue Jean Paul II, Route de l’aéroport.
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.
- Make plans to depart Benin without U.S. Government assistance or, if remaining in Benin, prepare to shelter in place for an indefinite period of time.
- Review travel plans carefully and make preparations to abide by Benin’s mandatory self-isolation policy upon arrival or re-entry into Benin.
- Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
- Check with your airlines 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 United States.
- U.S. Embassy Cotonou, Benin
Boulevard de la Marina
+229 21 30 75 00
- State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
- Benin Country Information
- Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts.
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