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Algeria

If you’re travelling to Algeria, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Natural Disasters and Climate
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

General advice to avoid non-essential travel and ‘Normal Precautions’ list of exemptions:

In accordance with Government policy, which is based on official public health advice, the Department of Foreign Affairs continues to advise against non-essential travel overseas. This includes Great Britain but does not apply to Northern Ireland. It also includes all travel by cruise ship.

Travel to a very limited set of locations is exempted from this advice. Individuals arriving into Ireland from these locations will not be required to restrict their movements upon entry. These locations currently have a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) security status rating. As of 4 August 2020, these locations are:

  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Norway
  • Slovakia

Inclusion on the list is based on the current epidemiological situation and related public health information in each location. The list and related travel advice will be reviewed on a fortnightly basis, based on advice from officials, including public health experts. Any updates or changes will be based on Government decisions. The latest updates will always be uploaded first to this General COVID-19 Travel Advisory. Country-specific tabs will be updated subsequently, and as quickly as possible, but this advisory is the primary source of information for the latest version of the list. The above list was updated on 4 August following the latest review.

If you are considering travelling outside of Ireland:

Irish citizens travelling to locations with a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) rating are advised to follow the public health guidelines of the local health authorities and to continue to practice physical distancing measures, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette etc. The security rating for all other locations remains unchanged at either to ‘avoid non-essential travel’ (“orange”) or to ‘do not travel’ (“red”).

The purpose of the Department’s Travel Advice is to provide information to the general public so that individuals can make informed decisions for themselves.  The COVID19 pandemic continues to accelerate internationally, and there are significant risks associated with international travel. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. Any citizens who are considering travel abroad are advised to monitor closely our travel advice and we recommend that citizens download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. Citizens travelling abroad should also register with their local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Should you need to travel for essential reasons, you should inform yourself about any requirements in place in the destination to which you are travelling.  Flight restrictions and route cancellations are happening on a daily basis worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will continue to operate as scheduled. Testing and restrictions may be imposed or may already be in place in other countries. It is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage at this time.

What to do on entering Ireland from abroad:

The Irish Authorities advise anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland and individuals arriving in Ireland from locations with a security rating of ‘normal precautions’ (“green”), to restrict their movements for 14 days, and this includes citizens and residents returning to Ireland. Restricting your movements means staying indoors in one location and avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. To ensure that this is being observed all passengers arriving to Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a mandatory Public Health Passenger Locator Form and to submit it to the relevant authority at their port of entry. For further details please see the Irish Government Advice Page. Exemptions are also in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff. Check the Irish Government Advice Page for full information on these requirements and further advice on returning from abroad.

Where to go for more information:

We continue to make updates to our online travel advice for over 200 countries and recommend that you download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. If abroad you should register with your local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Overview

Security Status

Avoid non-essential travel.

Security Status Last Updated: 17 March 2020

Security

A number of large political demonstrations have taken place throughout Algeria since February. Irish citizens living in or planning to travel to Algeria, should monitor local media and take account of where demonstrations are likely to take place.

We advise against non-essential travel to desert and border regions in the South and East of the country. A high degree of caution should be taken in other areas, including the coastal cities. Refer to the Safety and Security section for more detailed information.

Latest Travel Alert

The Department is aware of reports of cases of cholera in the provinces of Algiers, Blida, Bouira, Tipaza, Medea and Ain Defla. For more information on cholera, please consult the HSE guidance website.

Emergency assistance

The best help is often close at hand; try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

There is no Irish Embassy in Algeria, so we are limited in the help we can provide in the event of an emergency. You can contact the Irish Embassy in Switzerland (Berne) if you require assistance or advice. Irish citizens with a genuine emergency can leave a voicemail message on the outside of office hours. Make sure to leave your name, mobile number, current location and the nature of the emergency. An Embassy Duty Officer will return your call.

Emergency Service Numbers in Algeria

17 for the police, or 021 – 73 53 50 from a mobile

14 for the fire brigade, or 021 – 71 14 14 from a mobile

021 – 23 63 81 or 021 – 71 14 14 for an ambulance

Reliability and response time of emergency services vary. Emergency operators may or may not speak French and normally do not speak English.

In the event of a medical emergency you can call an ambulance, but you should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

EU Directive on Consular Protection

Under the EU Consular Protection Directive, Irish nationals may seek assistance from the Embassy or Consulate of any other EU member state in a country where there is no Irish Embassy or permanent representation.

Our tips for safe travels:

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities.
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
  • Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Practical advice

  • Get advice locally about areas of risk and security concerns
  • Take common-sense precautions about safety and security
  • Know who to contact in case of an emergency

Social unrest

The political situation in Algeria is reasonably stable but we advise you to avoid all demonstrations and public gatherings, which can sometimes turn confrontational.

Keep yourself informed of events by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser.

Terrorism

The threat from terrorism in Algeria is high, especially outside Algiers and the main cities. Suicide bomb attacks have been carried out in major population centres, including Algiers, in recent years. These attacks have caused death and serious injuries and foreigners have often been targeted.

Avoid all travel to areas within 450km of the Mali and Niger borders with the exception of Tindouf town and Tamanrasset city; to areas within 100km of the Mauritania border; and to areas within 100km of the Tunisian and Libyan borders south of the town of Souk Ahras.

Avoid all but essential travel to Tamanrasset city, Amenas, Tindouf town, the provinces of Boumerdès, Bouira, and Tizi Ouzou east of Algiers (the area known as the Kabylie).

Great care should be taken in the remaining areas of the Provinces of Adrar, Tamanrasset and Illizi which are not covered above and the provinces of Bordj Bou Arreridj, Bejaia and Skikda east of Algiers.

Crime

Crime remains relatively low in Algeria but you should take sensible precautions:

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
  • Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
  • Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
  • Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.
  • Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations.

Petty theft

Petty theft and home burglary happen frequently in Algeria, and muggings are on the rise, especially after dark in the cities. More serious crimes have been reported in which armed men posing as police officers have entered homes and robbed the occupants at gunpoint.

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Algeria, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Switzerland (Berne) if you need help.

Driving

If you’re planning to drive in Algeria, you should be extremely careful. Overland travel between major cities should be avoided, particularly at night.

If you want to drive:

  • Bring your international driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights

Hiring a vehicle

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Practical advice

  • Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them
  • Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.

Alcohol

Algeria does produce some wine and beer, which is served in some bars, hotels, restaurants and night clubs in the bigger cities. However, alcohol isn’t served everywhere and it isn’t served anywhere during Ramadan.

Muslim culture

When travelling in Algeria, take care not to offend local culture or religious beliefs, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or other religious festivals. Be conscious of your dress and behaviour if you intend to visit places of worship.

During Ramadan, Muslims are not permitted to eat, drink or smoke during daylight hours. To avoid offence, you should not eat, drink or smoke in public during this time. Guide books, local hoteliers and tour guides can be good sources of information for how to behave and dress respectfully.

Local culture

In Algeria the weekend is Friday and Saturday.

Female travellers

Female travellers can face particular issues around security and dealing with the religious and cultural beliefs of the countries they visit (especially if they’re travelling alone). We advise you to do some research before you travel, so you know what to expect from the country you’re visiting.

Some quick tips include:

  • Always take basic personal safety precautions, such as not walking alone at night or in quiet areas.
  • Don’t leave your food or drink unattended.
  • Keep details of your travel plans and where you’re staying to yourself.

LGBT

Homosexuality is illegal in Algeria. Sexual acts between people of the same sex are punishable by imprisonment and homophobic attacks can take place. Caution and discretion are advised at all times.

Photography

Don’t attempt to take photos of any government building or security installation. This includes police and police checkpoints

Natural Disasters and Climate

Natural disasters and climate

Climate

Algeria has a Mediterranean climate along the coast, with mild, wet winters, and hot, dry summers. The Sahara desert experiences extremely high summer temperatures, though it’s a bit cooler between November and April. Although daytime temperatures rarely fall below 25°C, desert nights can be cold even in the height of summer.

Flooding

Despite the lack of rain in the Sahara, other parts of Algeria are susceptible to severe flood damage.

Earthquake

Northern Algeria is within an earthquake zone. You should familiarise yourself with safety procedures in the event of an earthquake. In May 2003, a severe earthquake struck the Algiers area and over 2,200 people were killed and more than 10,000 were injured.

Additional Information

Additional information

Health

Novel Coronavirus

There is an ongoing outbreak of a novel coronavirus in China. Cases have been reported in other countries, including in Algeria.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Please be wary of these symptoms and seek immediate medical attention should such symptoms occur.
International travellers: practice usual precautions
HSE medical advice to protect yourself from getting COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is below.
Do:
• wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
• cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
• put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands
Don’t:
• touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Algeria.
Additional information on the Coronavirus can be found via the following links:

Algerian Ministry of Health

World Health Organisation

ECDC

HPSC

Passports

Although you’re not required to carry your passport at all times, you should have it with you on longer journeys. You will need it if you’re travelling internally by air.

In general keep your passport somewhere safe and carry a copy with you at all times.

Money

ATM machines are not as widespread as in Europe and credit card use is mostly confined to hotels and some businesses in the larger cities. Algerian Dinars should be obtained from bureaux de change at the international airports and larger hotels or from banks in the main cities. Street money vendors should be avoided. Algerian Dinars cannot be exported.

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

Please note that if you require urgent assistance while the Embassy is closed, contact the main Embassy number, +41 (0)31 350 0380, and leave a message on the Duty Officer voice mailbox.

This mailbox will be monitored regularly.

Embassy of Ireland
2nd Floor
Kirchenfeldstrasse 68
P.O. Box 262
CH-3000 Berne 6
Switzerland

Tel: +41 31 352 1442
Fax: +41 31 352 1455

Monday to Friday, 9.30 to 12.00

Contact us