ETHIOPIA – The continued surge of Covid-19 infections in some parts of the world has led to revised travel advisory by the government of Ethiopia.

An African Union COVID-19 Pass will now be required as one enters or exits the country. Health screening at the borders has also been scaled up to secure long-term biosecurity.

The country has witnessed a steady rise in Covid infections per day. Currently, Ethiopia is in the lead with over 270 thousand Covid cases in the Eastern Africa Region. So far, the country has recorded over four thousand deaths according to Africa CDC.

Mass vaccination in the country was launched in March this year. According to CDC, a total of 1,813,739 doses have been administered. This amounts to 1.09% of the total population.

As from 7th June, travelers exiting or leaving the country will be required to produce a digital negative COVID-19 certificate at the point of entry. Paper certificates will no longer be acceptable.

The requirement for digital certificates has become necessary due to the alarming increase of fake health documents and rising incidents of forgery detected since the onset of the pandemic.

In an effort to address this gap, the Ministry of Health has collaborated with the African Union and Africa CDC, with technical support from the PanaBIOS Consortium, to implement an online system to authenticate and verify travelers’ COVID-19 certificates in line with international rules and norms.

Travelers wishing to exit Ethiopia must first visit an authorized laboratory to take an COVID-19 test and be issued with Trusted Travel (TT) codes that can be verified by airlines and Port Health authorities across the continent.

In Ethiopia, all authorized COVID-19 testing laboratories have already been registered on the African Union TT system.

Travelers entering or transiting Ethiopia from countries yet to onboard to the Trusted Travel Initiative should use the special uploader available through the UNDP-supported Global Haven partnership for Covid-19 test results and vaccine certificates verification.

Travelers have been advised that the AU Trusted Travel requirement applies to both categories of travelers: those traveling within Africa and those traveling from countries where there are labs integrated into the Trusted Travel system.

These new measures come at no extra cost to travelers and have been designed to impose no inconvenience. In fact, compliance should speed up and greatly streamline health screening measures at the airport.

Citizens and visitors to Ethiopia, as well as testing laboratories and airlines, are expected to cooperate and comply with the enhanced digital measures for the safety of the people of Ethiopia, Africa, and the rest of the world.