Health Alert: U.S. Embassy Cotonou, Benin

Location:  Benin

Event:  As of March 26, 2020, Ethiopian Airlines is the only commercial carrier serving Cotonou’s Cadjehoun Airport with a regularly scheduled flight.  U.S. citizens who are considering returning to the United States are urged to work with Ethiopian Airlines immediately to make travel arrangements while flights are available.

If you are unable to book a commercial flight, please send an email to with the subject line “Return Travel to the U.S.”  Please include the following information for each U.S. citizen, or U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident guardian accompanying minor children, in your family or group:

  • Full name as it appears on your passport
  • Citizenship (only for U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents)
  • Date of birth
  • Passport number/LPR Card Number
  • Date of passport/LPR Card issuance and expiration
  • Email address and contact phone number
  • Current location
  • Desired onward destination in the United States

The Department of State is not currently organizing an evacuation of American citizens from Benin.  However, if that opportunity becomes available, the Embassy will immediately disseminate that information through STEP and by phone/email to those who have contacted us expressing their interest in returning to the United States.

Interested parties should verify that their passports and other documentation are current and valid for at least six months from today’s date.  For emergency American Citizen Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website for additional information at

Traveling to Benin

All travelers arriving in Benin are required to self-isolate in a government-designated quarantine facility for a period of 14 days.  Non-Beninese travelers will incur the costs of their stay.

Reduced Operations

In accordance with local public health recommendations, the U.S. Embassy in Cotonou, Benin, has reduced operations to emergency services only from March 30 to April 13, 2020.  U.S. citizens with emergencies should contact American Citizen Services at or call +229 21 36 75 00.

Those seeking emergency visa assistance should email

 Country Update

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, from March 30, 2020, through 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.

Visit the COVID-19 website of the Government of Benin for the latest information on this measure.


Actions to Take:

  • Review the Global Level 4 Health Advisoryadvising 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.
  • Check flight availability on Ethiopian Airlines.
  • Review travel plans carefully and prepare to abide by Benin’s mandatory self-isolation policy upon arrival or re-entry into Benin.
  • Consult the CDC websitefor 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-19for information on conditions in Benin.
  • Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s websiteon the latest travel restrictions to the United States.