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Somalia

If you’re travelling to Somalia, 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
  • Entry requirements
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation:

Avoid non-essential travel until further notice:

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises against all non-essential travel overseas until further notice. This includes Great Britain but does not apply to Northern Ireland. It also includes all travel by cruise ship.

If you are currently travelling outside of Ireland:

Flight restrictions and route cancellations are happening on a daily basis worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will continue to operate. For this reason, where commercial flights are still an option, we recommend that people who wish to do so make arrangements to return to Ireland as soon as possible.

We are working with airlines to show maximum flexibility to those passengers who need to change their existing flight arrangements. Where commercial flights are no longer available, we are working side-by-side with our international partners to identify alternative options where possible.

It may not be feasible or possible for everyone who wants to travel back to Ireland to do so in the short term. We ask Irish citizens remaining abroad to make decisions that safeguard their health and well-being and that they follow local public health and safety requirements.  We ask that they remain in close contact with family, friends and their local Irish Embassy or Consulate. 

We know that this is a stressful situation for citizens and our embassy network is working around the clock to provide people with all the information and assistance that we can, bearing in mind the situation is unfolding across multiple countries and is not one under our control. 

What to do on entering Ireland from abroad:

The Irish Health Authorities require anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland, to restrict their movements on arrival for 14 days. Check the Irish Health Service COVID-19 Advice Page for full information on these requirements. This includes Irish residents. Exemptions are in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff.

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 especially their Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Security status

We advise against all travel to Somalia.

Latest Travel Alert     

The Somalia authorities have announced new measures in relation to coronavirus (Covid-19). On arrival in Somalia, individuals will be screened and may be detained in isolation pending the results of testing for the virus.   

Intelligence reports suggest that there continues to be a threat to Westerners in Somalia.  If you are already in Somalia, we advise you to exercise caution at all times.

Emergency assistance

Because there is no Irish Embassy or Consulate in the Somalia, we’re limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency.

However, if you need assistance, please contact our Embassy in Nairobi in Kenya on (+254) 205135300 or our Consular Assistance Unit at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin on +353 1 408 2000.

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 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

Security

Somalia is a conflict zone and we advise against all travel to the country.

However, if you are currently in Somalia, you should keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your local contacts or hotel. Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, which can turn confrontational and stay away from military sites – taking photos, of or near, military or security installations, and some public buildings, may be prohibited.

Terrorism

There is a high threat to westerners and western interests from terrorism in Somalia, including Somaliland. These attacks could be indiscriminate, and could include crowded places, high-profile events, events involving government officials and places frequented by foreigners.

Piracy

Piracy has been a major problem along the Somali coastline.

Kidnapping

Westerners and those working for Western organisations have been targeted in attacks, including kidnappings. If you are remaining in Somalia against our advice, follow these basic precautions:

  • Get advice from your local contacts about staying safe
  • Avoid travelling at night, particularly inter-city
  • Avoid travelling alone
  • When driving, ensure all car doors are locked
  • Vary your routes and departure times – avoid patterns which could be tracked
  • Pay careful attention to local media for reports of kidnapping activities

Crime

As well as the ongoing armed conflict, there has been a consistently dangerous level of criminal activity in Somalia over the last few years so you should always 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, 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
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag snatching from vehicles stopped at traffic lights
  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

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 may even be illegal. Somalia is a Muslim country and therefore visitors should be culturally appropriate.

Health

Health

Get travel and medical insurance

Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends 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 for the activities you want to undertake.

Vaccinations

Check what vaccinations you may need for your trip at least eight weeks before you travel. We can’t advise you on vaccinations, but you can get information about vaccinations from your local GP or an International Health and Travel Centre.

Polio vaccination is recommended for all travellers from Ireland to countries where polio transmission is a risk. Before travelling to areas where poliomyelitis cases are still occurring, travellers should ensure that they have completed the recommended age-appropriate polio vaccine schedule and have received a booster dose, if necessary. More information is available on the Health Protection and Surveillance Centre website.

Medication

Make sure you bring enough medication for your entire trip and for any unexpected delays. You may wish to also bring copies of your prescription in case you lose your medication.

Water

It is advisable to boil tap water before drinking it, or stick to bottled water.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

If you are unsure about the entry requirements for Somalia, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the country’s nearest Embassy or Consulate.

You can also check with them how long your passport must be valid for.

Passports

It’s advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you when travelling to Somalia and you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times during your stay.

If your passport is lost or stolen while you’re abroad, we can help.

What we can do:

  • Issue you a replacement passport that will let you finish your trip, or;
  • Issue you with an emergency travel document to get you home.

We’ll do our best to help you as quickly as possible but this can take some time. Your location and circumstances may limit the help we can give you. As Ireland does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Somalia there may be additional complications in processing and application for a new passport.

You should contact the Embassy in Nairobi in Kenya to find out what you need to do to apply for a passport. They will also be able to advise you on the fees which apply.

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

Please note that if you require urgent assistance while the Embassy is closed, contact the Embassy Duty Officer on +254 (0) 716 353 999.

Embassy of Ireland
4th Floor
Delta Office Suites
Waiyaki Way
PO Box 30659-00100
Nairobi
Kenya

Tel: (+254) 0205 1 353 00

Monday to Friday 08:00-16:00

Contact us