Home News Everything you need to know before you fly to or from Sierra Leone starting July 22

Everything you need to know before you fly to or from Sierra Leone starting July 22

by Frañkvin Bob McEwen
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Flights from all over the world will be allowed to fly in and out of Sierra Leone after a 4-months temporary ban due to the COVID-19 health emergency.

His Excellency Brigadier (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio declared on the 9th of July in an address to the nation that the travel ban he imposed in March this year will be officially lifted on the 22nd of July 2020.

Following that declaration, the Ministry of Aviation in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Civil Aviation Authority, Airports Authority and the National COVID-19 Emergency Response Centre (NACOVERC) has made the following safety guidelines public for all arriving and departing passengers using the Freetown International Airport to adhere to.

Note these safety guidelines will be strictly enforced and defaulters will not be allowed to use the airport services.

Arriving Passengers

  1. All passengers shall produce a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test result issued no longer than 72hrs before departure at the point of origin.
  2. At the check-in desk at the airport of embarkation, passengers are required to display travelers’ authorization to Sierra Leone, received through the Government of Sierra Leone travel portal. The travel authorization consist of: 
    • Negative PCR COVID-19 test results issued no longer than 72 hours before departure.
    • Pre departure public health passenger form 
    • Proof of payment for COVID-19 testing on arrival paid through the online platform.
  3. Health officials will collect temperature, basic health screening data, and seat number on arrival.
  4. All passengers shall be subjected to a mandatory COVID-19 test upon arrival:
    • Passengers will simultaneously have a PCR test swab and an RDT test on arrival. 
    • If the RDT screening is negative, passengers are allowed to depart from the airport and observe public health protocols (mandatory proper mask wearing, hand washing, and physical distancing) while awaiting their PCR test result. 
    • If the RDT screening if positive, passengers will be isolated at a hotel in Lungi while awaiting their PCR test result. 
    • Note, the cost of the accommodation at the hotel shall be borne by the passenger. 
    • For all test results, the PCR result supersedes the RDT result. 
    • PCR results will be disseminated via the local contact number confimed by the passenger on arrival.
  5. All children under 2 years shall be exempted from pre-departure and arrival PCR test requirements.
  6. The same protocols shall apply to all VIP passengers.

Departing Passengers 

  1. All passengers are subjected to a mandatory Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test with a negative result issued no longer than 72hrs before departure at the Freetown International Airport. 
    • Cost for this test will be bone by the passenger. 
    • Passengers will use the Government of Sierra Leone Travel Portal to request their pre-departure test, to pay for the test, and for scheduling sample collection.
    • Passengers with negative PCR results will receive e-confimation and certificates ahead of travel. 
    • Physical copies can be collected at the airport at a designated desk. 
    • Passengers with positive PCR results will not be permitted to travel and must follow public health protocols for isolation and contact tracing. 
    • They will be re-tested alter seven days.
    • Passengers who have entered Sierra Leone within five days shall be exempted from the mandatory additional test on departure.
    • All children under 2 years shall be exempted from PCR test requirements.
  2. On arrival at the airport, passengers shall be directed to a reception area to avoid congestion and ensure social distancing during the check-in process.
  3.  All passengers are encouraged to complete their check-in online before arriving at the airport.
  4. All departing passengers shall go through the thermal screening/disinfectant channel at the airport’s departure entrance.
  5. All departing passengers shall have their passport/travelling document veritied before proceding to the checking counter.
  6. The same protocols shall apply to all VIP passengers.

For the full list of safety procedures set by the Government of Sierra Leone for travelling in and out of the country see below.


 

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