COVID-19 Information

Last updated: April 13, 2022

Effective December 6, 2021, all air passengers 2 years or older with a flight departing to the US from a foreign country are required show a negative COVID-19 viral test result taken no more than 1 day before travel, or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days, before they board their flight. 

This test is required regardless of vaccination status or citizenship.  Air passengers will also be required to confirm in the form of an attestation that the information they present is true.

Effective November 8, 2021, all non-immigrant, non-U.S. citizen air travelers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to the United States. 

Exemptions to the vaccination requirement will be considered on an extremely limited basis. Please contact your nearest embassy or consulate to apply for an exemption. Please visit the CDC webpages for more information about exemptions and the requirement for proof of negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 for all air passengers arriving in the United States.

Please see our FAQs and the CDC website for answers to questions about the requirement for proof of a negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 for all air passengers arriving in the United States.

Country-Specific Information:

  • Cotonou Cadjehoun Airport (COO) is operating at close to pre-pandemic levels, however, travelers may experience some flight reductions. Land borders remain closed for most travelers. Businesses, stores, schools, and daycares are generally open. Religious services are allowed however gatherings of more than fifty people are not permitted.
  • If you test positive before travel to the United States, you will be denied boarding and will have to undergo a mandatory quarantine according to Benin government regulations.
  • Unexpected delays or quarantines may result in unexpected expenses for the traveler.  Have a plan in case you have to remain overseas longer than anticipated. This includes being ready to cover additional lodging costs, flight ticket change fees, and any other additional expenses they may incur due to the unexpected extension.
  • Travelers may find it difficult to access general medical care in another country as the pandemic has strained health care capacity in some areas.
  • Border closures, airline disruptions, and other local restrictions may occur and could adversely impact your travel plans

 COVID-19 Testing:

  • Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Benin? Yes.
    • If so, are test results reliably available within one calendar day? Yes.
    • Departure tests must be conducted at the official Beninese test centers through the Ministry of Health.  Schedule an appointment and pay the testing fee on their appointment website  and choosing the “Test Local PCR” option.
    • Test fees are 25,000 CFA for standard processing at the Palais des congrès.
    • Test fees 50,000 CFA for expedited testing (labeled “VIP”), which can produce results in 4-6 hours (returning same day for tests done prior to 09:30).  The VIP testing center is also located at the Palais des congrès.
    • Payment can be made by mobile money and credit card.
    • An electronic code will be provided to each registered person. This code will allow access to the test results. Travelers should print out these results prior to arrival at the airport.
    • No prescription is required to obtain a pre-departure COVID-19 test. Tests for travelers under five years old are at no charge.
    • The appointment website is in both French and English, however, staff at the testing centers may not speak English.
  • As of May 11, U.S. citizens seeking routine, non-travel-related COVID-19 testing must first obtain a doctor’s prescription before being permitted to test at health screening centers throughout the country. Testing ordered by a doctor and carried out at a public health screening center is free of charge with results typically available within 24 hours. The cost and time required to receive a result from a private facility varies by location.

 COVID-19 Vaccine Information:

  • Has the government of Benin approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use? Yes.
    • Are vaccines available in Benin for U.S. citizens to receive? Yes.
    • Which vaccines are available in Benin: AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Sinovac, and Johnson and Johnson.
    • Information about Benin’s vaccination program can be found at Benin’s Ministry of Health’s website (in French). Vaccinations are available to anyone in Benin age 12 and older. There are over 100 vaccination centers in Benin, including most hospitals and town health centers. U.S. citizens should contact their local health center for more information about registering for the vaccine.
  • All travelers who are fully vaccinated are invited to convert their yellow COVID-19 vaccination book into an electronic vaccination pass by going to the Covid Testing site at the Palais des Congrès open every day from 08:00 to 16:00. Travelers must bring their vaccination book, passport or ID card and title of transport (ticket).
  • Visit the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.
  • The U.S. government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Entry and Exit Requirements:

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter?  Yes.
    • U.S. citizens wishing to enter Benin, must apply for a Beninese eVisa. Visit the COVID-19 website of the Government of Benin for more information on travel restrictions to and within Benin.
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry?  Yes.
    • The Government of Benin requires all inbound air passengers to Cotonou to present a negative PCR or negative antigen test result prior to boarding the flight. The PCR test must have been taken within 5 days of arrival in Cotonou and the antigen test within 72 hours of arrival in Cotonou.
    • To exit Benin, the traveler must follow the entry rules of destination country.
    • Children under the age of two are exempt.
    • The Government of Benin will not accept a certificate of recovery for entry requirements.
    • Tests upon arrival at the Cotonou airport are no longer required. 
    • Please note that the embassy has received reports of airlines not knowing about the change to Benin’s arrival testing protocol. Airline staff have asked several people to produce QR codes at check-in on boarding, even though arrival testing is no longer required. As a precaution, travelers can print the Beninese government communiqué confirming the pre-boarding PCR test requirement and the new time frame of 72 hours for arriving travelers.
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry?  Yes
    • The Government of Benin requires presentation of a negative PCR tests for arriving passengers at the Cotonou Cadjehoun Airport.
    • Children under the age of two are exempt.
    • The Government of Benin will not accept a certificate of recovery for either entry or departure requirements.
    • Travelers may also be required to use hand sanitizer and walk through a disinfectant fogger machine at the airport.
  • U.S. citizens may extend their tourist eVisa to 180 days without charge by visiting the Embassy of Benin in Washington, D.C. or the Ministry of the Interior in Cotonou, Benin.

 Movement Restrictions:

  • Is a curfew in place? No.
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No.

 Transportation Options:

  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes.
  • Is public transportation operating? Yes.
    • Masks are required to be worn in public including in taxis, at the airport, and on the plane.

 Fines for Non-Compliance:

  • Failure to wear a mask in public or in a vehicle may result in a fine or the confiscation of the vehicle.

 Consular Operations:

  • The Consular Section at U.S. Embassy Cotonou has reduced operations and can provide the following services by appointment only:
    • For U.S. citizens, all services (passports, Certified Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA), notarials, emergency assistance)
    • For non-U.S. citizens, immigrant visas and non-immigrant visas (limited availability).

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