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Timor Leste

If you’re travelling to Timor Leste, 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
  • 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: 16 March 2020

Latest Travel Alert

COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus

Emergency responses to the Covid-19 crisis in many countries have included restrictions of flights to/from Europe; imposition of new mandatory quarantine arrangements and new restrictions affecting the admission of Irish people travelling to and within the Asia Pacific region.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade strongly advises against any non–essential travel to the region until further notice.

For more information, please see the latest update on our webpage.

Emergency Assistance

Because there is no Irish Embassy or Consulate in Timor Leste we’re limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in Singapore.

We suggest you learn as much as you can about Timor Leste before your trip from travel agents, tour operators and guide books. The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems when you’re in Timor Leste, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

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

Crime

Crime continues to be a problem in Timor-Leste, including gang-related violence, robbery (in some cases armed), assault and attacks on vehicles.

There have been a number of attacks on foreigners in Dili, including bag-snatchings, during the hours of daylight and darkness. Be vigilant at all times and avoid displaying expensive items of jewellery or carrying large sums of money. There have been reports of harassment and violence against women (including expatriates).

There are occasional violent incidents at nightclubs in Dili.

There are occasional incidents of fighting between groups in various districts around Timor-Leste, often but not always related to martial arts groups. These incidents often involve stone throwing and occasionally machetes and knives. Most happen at night.

Terrorism

There is a low threat from terrorism, but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

Local travel

Take care if you go outside after dark. Avoid travelling alone or to isolated areas.

In rural areas there is a danger from unexploded ordnance from World War II and the Indonesian occupation. Don’t stray off well-used roads and paths.

Crocodiles have been seen at beaches near Dili.

Be particularly vigilant in border areas.

Road travel

Poor road quality and an increasing number of cars, especially in Dili, make driving in Timor-Leste hazardous. Accidents are frequent.

Drivers must hold a current driving licence valid for the class of vehicle they plan to drive. Third Party motor vehicle insurance is not available.

Take extra care when it is wet. Travel in convoy whenever possible. Main routes are often single-track mountain roads, which can deteriorate rapidly and become impassable, particularly during the rainy season (December-April).

Sea travel

There have been incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in neighbouring waters. Mariners should be vigilant, reduce opportunities for theft, establish secure areas onboard and report all incidents to the coastal and flag state authorities.

Political situation

The UN peacekeeping operation ended its mandate in December 2012. The security situation in Timor-Leste has improved but underlying tensions remain and the security situation could deteriorate with little warning.

If you become aware of any nearby military activity you should leave the area immediately. If you are inside and become aware of military operations in your immediate area you should take cover away from windows.

Avoid any demonstrations and large crowds, as these have the potential to deteriorate quickly and turn violent. Areas where there have been violent incidents in the past include government buildings (including the Palacio da Cinzas and Palacio da Governo) and on the road to the Nicolau Lobato international airport, close to Comoro market.

Make sure your travel documents are up-to-date and available in case you need to leave at short notice. Keep a photocopy of the relevant pages of your passport to avoid any complications.

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.

Drugs

Don't become involved with drugs of any kind. Penalties for breaking the law can be severe.

Additional Information

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

Entry permits

You can’t get an entry permit when you arrive at the land border with West Timor so if you want to enter Timor Leste via the border with Indonesia, you need to get an entry permit in advance from the Immigration Department of Timor Leste.

If you’re arriving in the country by air, you can get an entry permit on arrival at Dili Airport. An entry permit is normally issued for visits of up to 30 days. Fees for these permits can change regularly so you should check with the Immigration Department for up-to-date information about the entry permit.

Passports

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

Health

Novel Coronavirus

A cluster of pneumonia coronavirus was reported in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China with cases reported in some neighbouring countries.

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
You can reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections while travelling by:

• avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections;
• frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment;
• avoiding close contact with live or dead farm or wild animals;
• travellers with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands).

For more information on the coronavirus please follow the link here

 

Medical services in Timor-Leste are limited, particularly outside Dili. There are very few dental and optical services. In the event of a medical emergency, evacuation to Australia or Singapore is likely to be the only option for treatment. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

Before travelling, get up-to-date medical advice as to whether you will need anti-malarial medication. When you arrive, avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by using bed nets and repellents, and wearing closed shoes, long sleeves and trousers.

Malaria, dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis are common throughout Timor-Leste. There is usually an increase in dengue cases during the rainy season, which runs from November to April.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 110 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment. 

Water

We recommend that you drink only boiled or bottled water during your stay. 

More travel advice

Because we don’t have an Embassy or Consulate in Timor-Leste, we can’t give you up-to-date travel advice. But you can visit these foreign ministries for more detailed information:  

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

If you require emergency assistance from the Embassy, please contact us on +65 6238 7616. If you call outside normal working hours with an emergency involving an Irish citizen, you will be given instructions to call another number to speak to a Duty Officer.

You may also wish to call the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin directly at +353 1 408 2000.

Embassy of Ireland
Ireland House
541 Orchard Road
#08-00 Liat Towers
Singapore 238881

Tel: +65 6238 7616
Fax: +65 6238 7615

Monday to Friday 09:30-13:00 and 13:30-16:30

Contact us