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Liberia

If you’re travelling to Liberia, 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
  • Health
  • 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

Novel Coronavirus

Cases of COVID-19 have now been confirmed in many African counties. Emergency response procedures are now in place in a number of countries and include restrictions on flights to and from Europe and the introduction of quarantine arrangements. New procedures have in some instances been brought in with immediate effect. In weighing decisions to travel to Africa at this time, Irish citizens should take into consideration the risk of restrictions being introduced during their travel and, also, the impact which responding to COVID-19 may have on local health care systems over the course of their proposed visit.

The first case of COVID-19 in Liberia was confirmed in March and up to date case numbers can be found on the National Public Health Institute of Liberia website. The airport has been closed since March and plans to re-open in July. Incoming travellers to Liberia will be required to quarantine for 14 days in a designated facility. Citizens planning essential travel to Liberia are advised to contact the Embassy; DFAT advice remains to avoid non-essential travel overseas.

More information on Liberia’s restrictions can be found in the health tab and on the NPHIL website.

Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:

HSE

HPSC

ECDC

World Health Organisation

Latest Alert

A protest took place on 6 January 2020 and further protests may take place in the coming months. If they go ahead, these protests will lead to travel disruptions and increase the risk of localized violence and damage to property. We recommend that you avoid protest areas and demonstrations if possible, stay informed of what is happening around you, and follow the advice of local authorities.

Crime levels are moderate to high in Liberia. Most crimes are opportunistic, and the risk of theft and burglaries increases around Christmas. We advise visitors to be vigilant at all times, particularly after dark when crime levels are higher, and always take sensible precautions (more detail in the safety and security section).

The availability and quality of medical services in Liberia is poor. Citizens should be aware that you may have difficulty accessing even basic medical services, particularly in remote areas. If you need treatment, you may be asked to pay up front. If you have a pre-existing medical condition or underlying health concerns, you should note that it may not be possible to get appropriate drugs or treatment during your stay. If you choose to travel, bring enough medication with you for the duration of your visit.

If you develop fever, unexplained fatigue, diarrhoea or any other severe symptoms while in Liberia, or in the few weeks following your departure from Liberia, you should telephone your GP or Accident and Emergency Department mentioning your symptoms and your travel history, since it may result from an infection like malaria that requires immediate investigation and treatment.

If you're planning to drive in Liberia, you should be extremely careful as traffic accidents are common. Emergency medical services in Liberia are limited, and poorly equipped to deal with road traffic accidents, particularly those involving complex trauma. Therefore, extra caution should be exercised when using the road, either as a driver or as a passenger.

Emergency assistance

Consular assistance in cases of genuine emergency can be sought from the Embassy. If you require emergency assistance out-of-hours, you can contact the Duty Officer on +231-77-675-5707.

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 in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates    

Read our Topical 'Know Before You Go' guide

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Political Stability / Unrest

Security and stability in Liberia have improved since internal conflict in the country ended in 2003. However, tensions remain and there is still a risk of violence. We strongly advise you to exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to Liberia and to consider and plan any proposed travel carefully. 

There was a protest held on 6 January 2020 and further protests may take place in the coming months. Protests increase the risk of localized violence and damage to property. It is difficult to predict when or how a protest might escalate to violence or property damage and it is advised that such protests are avoiding entirely, if possible. If you find yourself in a demonstration, exit the crowd and avoid confrontation with participants and security forces. Stay informed of what is going on around you by monitoring local media.

Terrorism

The threat of terrorism in Liberia is low, although there is a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which can target areas frequented by foreign tourists.

Crime

Crime levels, including violent crime, armed robberies and sexual assaults, are high in Liberia. Most crimes are opportunistic theft, with the perpetrators often armed with knives or firearms. The risk of burglaries increases around Christmas, from November until the New Year. Be vigilant at all times, particularly after dark when crime levels are higher and always take sensible precautions:

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
  • Take a number of photocopies of your passport with you in case your passport is lost or stolen. Leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
  • Avoid carrying valuables or large sums of cash in public.
  • Take particular care when in large crowds or when out at night, especially in central Monrovia or in the beach area, or at bars or nightclubs. Concerts and sporting events are often crowded and unsafe, and pickpocketing is common.
  • 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.
  • Make sure that your accommodation and vehicle are well secured, with locked doors and windows at all times.

If you’re a victim of crime while in Liberia, you should make a report to the local police and contact the duty officer on the number provided above.

Driving

If you’re planning to drive in Liberia, you should be extremely careful as traffic accidents are common and collisions can attract hostile crowds. Road conditions are generally poor, including in Monrovia, and deteriorate during the rainy season from May to October as heavy rains damage road surfaces and create large potholes. Most roads have no street lighting or painted markings. A four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended for minor roads outside of Monrovia. You should avoid travelling after dark outside of urban areas.

Emergency medical services in Liberia are limited, and poorly equipped to deal with road traffic accidents, particularly those involving complex trauma. Therefore, extra caution should be exercised when using the road, either as a driver or as a passenger. Road traffic accidents can lead to heated disputes. If you are caught up in a serious road traffic accident, you are advised to remain inside your vehicle, with the doors locked, until such time as the police arrive. If it becomes unsafe to remain at the scene of a road traffic accident, you should make your way immediately to the local police station to report the incident.

If you are travelling outside of Monrovia, you should plan your journey in advance, and travel in convoy where possible, to avoid being stranded in the case of breakdowns. 

If you want to drive:

  • Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked, especially when stopped in traffic.
  • Remember that in Liberia, you drive on the right-hand side of the road. 

Public Transport

Private taxis, motorbike taxis or mini buses available for public transport can be hazardous as vehicle maintenance and driving standards are often very poor and vehicles overcrowded. 

Higher risk activities

Currents and riptides are strong and unpredictable on Liberia’s beaches, making swimming conditions very dangerous. Beaches are not manned by lifeguards. Canoes and fishing boats offering passenger services along the coast are often overwhelmed by waves and should be avoided.

Corruption and fraud

Corruption is common in Liberia. Business fraud against foreigners is also a problem. If you’re thinking of making an investment or entering into a contract, we advise you to research the person or company concerned before making any commitments. Be particularly careful when the business opportunity is the result of unsolicited contact or promises rapid financial gain. 

Border Regions

Liberia shares its border with Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire. If you’re visiting border areas, you should get local advice and keep informed of political developments.

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

While you’re in Liberia, you are subject to local laws and customs. You should respect local traditions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend other cultures or religious beliefs. Any Irish citizen who commits a criminal offence can expect to be prosecuted and jailed or expelled from the country. Prison conditions are extremely difficult. 

Personal ID

You should carry photographic ID with you at all times, as you may be asked to produce it at any time by immigration officials or the police. We recommend you carry a photocopy of your passport, along with another form of photographic ID. You should store your passport in a safe place.

LGBT

Homosexual activity is illegal. Caution and discretion are advised at all times. Transgender persons may face additional discrimination or adverse treatment.

Religion

Approximately 85% of the population of Liberia practices Christianity, with 12% practicing Islam. While the Constitution protects freedom of religion, some religious tensions exist.

Always be sensitive to local customs when you’re abroad. It is often best to behave conservatively, at least until you know your way around. Avoid public displays of affection and dress modestly, particularly in places of worship.

Illegal activities

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of drugs and for diamond smuggling are severe and you should not become involved in these activities in any way. The importation of firearms into Liberia is prohibited under UN sanctions.

 

Health

Health

The availability and quality of medical services in Liberia is poor. Citizens should be aware that you may have difficulty accessing even basic medical services, particularly in remote areas. If you need treatment, you may be asked to pay up front. If you have a pre-existing medical condition or underlying health concerns, you should note that you may not be able to get appropriate drugs or treatment during your stay. If you choose to travel, bring enough medication with you for the duration of your visit and copies of your prescription.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The first case of COVID-19 in Liberia was confirmed in March and up to date case numbers can be found on the National Public Health Institute of Liberia website. The airport has been closed since March and plans to re-open in July. Incoming travellers to Liberia will be required to quarantine for 14 days in a designated facility. Citizens planning essential travel to Liberia are advised to contact the Embassy; DFAT advice remains to avoid non-essential travel overseas.

More information on Liberia’s restrictions can be found in the health tab and on the NPHIL website

Be alert to common signs of infection: respiratory problems, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Seek medical advice if you experience these symptoms.

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 Liberia.

Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:

HSE

HPSC

ECDC

World Health Organisation

Travel Insurance

Before travelling, we strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you in Liberia for the activities you want to undertake.

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Outbreak

The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has been brought under control in West Africa. On 1st April 2016, the World Health Organisation declared the Ebola public health emergency in West Africa to be over. While the risk of contracting Ebola is extremely low, as it is expected that response systems in Liberia will be capable of containing, and dealing with, potential future flare-ups, travellers should nonetheless exercise due caution, and take necessary precautions to prevent infection. Travellers should avoid being directly exposed to any bodily fluids from a dead or living Ebola-infected person, including through unprotected sexual contact with patients that have recovered from Ebola. If you do become exposed, you should seek rapid medical attention. You should contact the medical care facility by phone before your visit, in order to enable medical personnel to use appropriate protection at the time of admission.

Further information on Ebola is available from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre website.

If you develop fever, unexplained fatigue, diarrhoea or any other severe symptoms while in Liberia, or in the few weeks following your departure from Liberia, you should telephone your GP or Accident and Emergency Department mentioning your symptoms and your travel history, since it may result from an infection like malaria that requires immediate investigation and treatment.

Yellow fever

The yellow fever vaccination is an entry requirement for Liberia and a yellow fever vaccination certificate will be requested by border control on arrival in the country.

Malaria

Malaria, including cerebral malaria which can be fatal within 72 hours, is endemic in Liberia and we strongly recommend using a malaria prophylaxis, together with other precautions such as using bed nets and insect repellents, and wearing closed shoes, long sleeves and trousers. You should also bring enough malaria treatment for the duration of your visit.

Water-borne diseases

Cholera and other water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea, giardia, dysentery and typhoid are also very common, so practise good hygiene, drink and brush your teeth with bottled water only, and avoid eating uncooked vegetables, salads, seafood and meats.

Lassa Fever

Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic fever illness that is transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with urine or feces of infected Mastomys rats; or through contact with the bodily fluids of a person with Lassa fever. Lassa fever is endemic in Liberia and the country is currently facing an outbreak. We advise Irish citizens to seek immediate medical attention if they experience symptoms of Lassa fever. More information is available on the WHO website

General diseases

Other diseases including but not limited to, rabies, HIV, hepatitis A and B, meningitis and polio and are also present in some parts of Liberia and can pose a risk.

 

Additional Information

Additional information

Climate

The climate in Liberia is consistently hot and humid year round, with temperatures fluctuating between 25 and 35 degrees Celsius. The dry season extends from November to April and the rainy season lasts from May to October. The rainy season brings extremely heavy rainfalls and thunderstorms. Travellers should be careful when travelling during the rainy season as flash floods can occur in exceptional circumstances.

Banking and Money

The official currency of Liberia is the Liberia Dollar. However, US dollars are widely accepted. Liberia is a cash-based economy and you should bring enough cash to cover your expenses while you’re here. Credit cards and travellers’ cheques are very rarely accepted and you shouldn’t rely on them.

Although there are a number of ATMs in Monrovia, many don’t accept foreign bank or credit cards and the security of the transactions can’t be guaranteed. The exchange rate given by ATMs is also highly unfavourable.

There are restrictions on how much cash you can bring into the country, and you should verify the latest requirements with your nearest Embassy of the Republic of Liberia before travelling. Always be careful when carrying cash. Facilities to exchange Euro for dollars in Liberia are very limited, and you should not assume that you will be able to exchange Euro in Liberia.

Visas and Immigration

Irish citizens require a valid visa to enter Liberia. Visa applications from Ireland should be submitted to the Embassy of the Republic of Liberia in London. Those travelling to Liberia are also required to show evidence of having received a yellow fever vaccination. 

Language

English is the official language of Liberia.

Water and Power

Mains water is limited, and tap water should be boiled before drinking it. Bottled water is readily available.

Power is improving but remains unreliable, particularly during the dry season. Rented accommodation and hotels rely on generators and private water supplies. 

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

Embassy of Ireland,
LCL Compound,
12/13th Street,
Sinkor,
Monrovia,
Liberia

Tel: +231-776-756-020

Monday to Thursday 09:00-17:00; Friday 09.00 – 13.00

Contact us