Last updated: October 19, 2021
Effective January 26, 2021 all airline passengers traveling to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the United States may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the CDC website for additional information and frequently asked questions.
Beginning on November 8, 2021, foreign nationals traveling to the United States will be required to demonstrate proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines.
Information for Vaccinated Travelers:
Even fully vaccinated travelers might be at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading some COVID-19 variants.
- The CDC order requiring pre-departure testing to travel or return to the U.S. applies to all air travelers, even those who are fully vaccinated.
- 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
- 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.
- Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Benin? Yes.
- If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes.
- U.S. citizens departing Benin can register at the Beninese appointment website to schedule a test and pay the testing fee. Testing costs 50,000 CFA for standard processing or 75,000 CFA for same-day processing. No prescription is required to obtain a pre-departure COVID-19 test. Tests for travelers under five years old are at no charge. Payment can be made by credit card or mobile money.
- An electronic code will be provided to each registered person. This code will allow access the test results. Travelers should print out these results prior to their arrival at the airport.
- 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 18 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.
- 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.
- Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? No.
- Two COVID-19 tests, a TDR rapid test and a PCR test, are required and will be conducted upon arrival at the Cotonou Cadjehoun Airport at the traveler’s expense.
- All travelers who stay in Benin longer than 15 days must undergo a third COVID-19 test. The test can be performed without a prescription at the Palais des congrès in Cotonou or at routine screening sites throughout the country.
- Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes
- All travelers arriving at or departing from Cotonou Cadjehoun Airport must take mandatory COVID-19 tests. Travelers must register at the appointment website to schedule a test and pay the testing fee. The fee for testing is 50,000 CFA each direction and includes all three arrival tests or the departure test. Tests for travelers under five years old are at no charge. Arriving airlines may require proof of registration or proof of ability to pay prior to boarding.
- Departing travelers who stay in the country for more than three days must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result to be permitted entry into the Cotonou Cadjehoun Airport. The Government of Benin recommends that departing travelers get tested 72 hours prior to their entry at the airport to ensure that the test result is received. The test can be performed at the Palais des congrès in Cotonou by appointment through the appointment website. Expedited testing (labeled “VIP”), which can produce results in 4-6 hours, can be requested for an additional cost and are performed at the VIP testing center near the Nobila Hotel.
- Travelers who test positive as part of the airport exit procedures will be required to following the requirements of the Government of Benin, including mandatory quarantine and waiting at least 10 days before retesting.
- 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.
- Is a curfew in place? No.
- Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No.
- Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes.
- Travelers who test positive to the rapid TDR test are expected to self-quarantine while awaiting the results of the PCR test.
- Travelers who test positive for COVID-19 may be subject to government-mandated isolation measures at both entry and exit. This may include quarantine in a government-designated hotel at the traveler’s expense.
- 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.
- The Consular Section at U.S. Embassy Cotonou is currently operating under reduced operations and is able to facilitate the following services:
- For U.S. citizens, special and emergency assistance, routine processing of applications for passports and Certified Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA), and emergency notarial services.
- For non-U.S. citizens, lawful permanent resident boarding foils, routine immigrant visas for spouses and children of U.S. citizens, routine non-immigrant visas for officials, diplomats, and students, and emergency visa services.
- U.S. Embassy Cotonou’s Most Recent Alerts
- Government of Benin COVID-19 webpage (in French)
- Benin’s Ministry of Health (in French)
- Benin’s Department of Emigration and Immigration (in French)