Health Alert: U.S. Embassy Cotonou, Benin

Location:  Benin


The Government of Benin is conducting mandatory COVID-19 testing of all airline passengers arriving in and departing from Benin.  Tests are at the passenger’s expense, and must be paid in cash.

For arrivals, fees are 100,000 CFA (approximately $180).  Airlines may require passengers to present proof of payment in CFA or its Euro equivalent prior to boarding.  Upon arrival, travelers may be ordered to self-quarantine while awaiting the test results, and those who test positive for COVID-19 may be subject to government-mandated isolation measures.  This may include quarantine in a government-designated hotel at the passenger’s expense.  The Government of Benin may hold the passenger’s passport until testing and isolation requirements are met to ensure compliance.

For departures, fees are 50,000 CFA (approximately $90 USD) for regular service or 75,000 CFA (approximately $136 USD) for expedited service.  Departing passengers should plan for significant waiting periods for testing results (even expedited service can have a wait time of more than four hours).

Air France, ASKY Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, and Turkish Airlines may have available flights over the next two weeks.  Interested travelers should contact these carriers directly for schedules and booking.  All travelers should confirm with the airlines transit/transfer requirements for connections to the United States and for any other COVID-19 requirements.  Most airlines require passengers to bring a mask.  Passengers whose flights were cancelled should contact their airline directly for information about rebooking options.

The COVID-19 epidemic is still ongoing in Benin.  Facemasks or cloth coverings continue to be required in public, and social distancing guidelines remain in place. For more information, visit the Government of Benin’s COVID-19 website (in French).

U.S. Embassy Cotonou has reduced operations to emergency services only until further notice.  U.S. citizens with emergencies, including passport emergencies, should contact American Citizen Services at, or call +229 21 36 75 00 and press 0 to speak to an operator.

Actions to Take:

  • Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
  • Visit the Government of Benin’s COVID-19 website (in French) or call the Government’s COVID-19 hotline at +229 51 02 00 00 / 51 04 00 00 for information on current government measures.
  • Follow all government and law enforcement procedures and instructions.
  • Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on for the latest information regarding foreign countries’ quarantine requirements and other global impacts.
  • Make plans to depart Benin without U.S. Government assistance.
  • Prepare to shelter in place for an indefinite period of time if remaining in Benin, including ensuring you have an adequate supply of prescription medication.
  • 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.
  • Check with your airlines regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or cancellations and restrictions of future tickets.