Do I need a PCR test to fly on Ethiopian airlines?

In order to control the spread of viral Covid-19 and make travel safer for our clients, Ethiopian Airlines has a proper screening procedure for the passengers on board. Whether you are travelling with Ethiopian airlines for the first time or remain a frequent traveller, everyone needs to have a PCR test done before their departure.

Here are some of the guidelines to consider for your PCR test for Covid-19 to fly with Ethiopian Airlines.
PCR requirements and Validity for passengers.

For any passenger who is ten years or older (excluding the transit passengers) is obliged to bring a certificate of negative RT PCR test that is done five days before arrival in Ethiopia. Furthermore, he/she has to observe self-quarantine at home/hotel for seven days at least. The certificate validity of the PCR test done shouldn’t exceed 120 hours from the sampling date.


  • If a passenger has a valid certificate for recovery from COVID-19 within 90 days, or he/she is completely vaccinated against Covid-19, the requirement for self-isolation no longer exists.
  • The people arriving in the region to attend emergency conferences would not be necessarily required to isolate themselves for seven days when tested for Covid-19 and the result is negative.
  • All diplomatic/service passport holders along with their immediate families are advised, however, not required to possess a certificate of negative PCR Covid-19 test before their arrival to Ethiopia.
  • A diplomat without a negative RT PCR Covid-19 test does not have to isolate himself for 7 days if his RT PCR Covid-19 test is negative on arrival. Upon refusal of the on-arrival test, such a person would have to do self-quarantine for at least 14 days.

General guidelines

  1. Passengers who are Covid-19 positive cannot enter the country. Their arrival is prohibited unless they recover from it.
  2. Passengers who arrive in Ethiopia as transit or layover passengers need to go directly to their designated hotels and self-quarantine till their next flight out of the country.
  3. Returnees who are coming through international airports must bring a certificate of negative RT PCR test from their departure region. Otherwise, he/she would necessarily be required to give a sample of RT PCR or Antigen-Based RDT test.
  4. Rapid diagnostic test for Covid-19 detection is not acceptable.
  5. A Covid-19 PCR test result taken in Ethiopia cannot be used for travelling back or re-entering Ethiopia.
    The negative RT-PCR certificate should be presented by all passengers before boarding their flights to Ethiopia and that must be taken at their departure country.

So, these are some of the things you need to know about getting a PCR test done for Covid-19 when travelling with Ethiopian airlines. However, as per the new official rules, passengers are not required to get any Covid-19 test for their domestic or intranational flights as the restrictions are lifted now.

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