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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

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

We advise against all travel to Somalia.

Latest Travel Alert     

Cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Somalia, including Somaliland. All international and domestic passenger flights to and from Somalia are banned. The EU Delegation is organising some repatriation flights. Please contact the Embassy for more details. There is a daily curfew in Mogadishu from 8pm to 5am. Local authorities in Somaliland have announced measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including restrictions on travel. If you wish to leave Somaliland, there are still commercial options to the UK from Somaliland. Ethiopian Airlines continue to fly around once a week between Hargeisa and Addis Ababa. Onward flights to European destinations are available from Addis Ababa.

There is an ongoing high threat of terrorism with attacks expected to continue. Follow the advice of local authorities, make arrangements for an extended stay and minimise your risk of exposure to COVID-19. Stay in touch with family and friends so they know you are safe and well. If you are in Somalia, please register with the Embassy in Nairobi at https://www.dfa.ie/travel/citizens-registration/ and email nairobiem@dfa.ie

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