👋🏾 Fully vaccinated passengers do not need to take a COVID 19 test to travel!

Frequently asked questions

    A. INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL & HIGH-RISK COUNTRIES

  1. Can international travellers still travel from/to Sierra Leone?
    Yes, Sierra Leone’s land borders and Lungi International Airport are open for international travel; there are no travel bans in place at this time. However, all international travellers, whether Sierra Leonean or foreign nationals, must comply with the strict COVID-19 departure and arrival protocols (see Questions 4, 5, 22, 23) put in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and protect Sierra Leone from increased COVID-19 cases and new COVID-19 variants which could be more transmissible and difficult to control.
  2. I have to travel, how can I stay safe?
    • Get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before traveling.
    • Follow prevention precautions for COVID-19, including:
      • Wearing a mask over nose and mouth
      • Avoiding crowds and staying at least 1 meter from others
      • Washing hands frequently or using hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol)
      • Seeking immediate help if you have COVID-19 symptoms or contact with a COVID-19 case.
  3. B. TRAVELLING OUT OF SIERRA LEONE BY LAND

  4. I plan to travel out of Sierra Leone by land, what should I expect at the land border?
    You can travel to the border as normal but when you reach the border you should expect to go through a health screening process (including temperature check and health questionnaire) before you can pass into Guinea or Liberia. To complete the health questionnaire, you must be able to give your phone number, the address for where you are going, and the phone number of someone who can be contacted in case of an emergency.
  5. C. TRAVELLING OUT OF SIERRA LEONE BY AIR

    C. 1 COVID-19 DEPARTURE PROTOCOLS FOR ALL OUTBOUND PASSENGERS
  6. I plan to travel out of Sierra Leone by air, what are the steps I must take due to be fully compliant with Sierra Leone’s COVID-19 departure protocols?
    Once you have purchased your air ticket(s) you must follow the below steps.
    • FULLY-VACCINATED PASSENGERS & PASSENGERS UNDER 12 YEARS OLD:
      • REGISTER ON THE TRAVEL PORTAL – Register online at www.travel.gov.sl to receive a unique SO (Sierra Leone Outbound) number.
      • TRAVEL – Present your Travel Portal registration at the airport before boarding your flight.
    • UNVACCINATED PASSENGERS OVER 12 YEARS OLD:
      • REGISTER & PAY ON THE TRAVEL PORTAL – Register online at www.travel.gov.sl to receive a unique SO (Sierra Leone Outbound) number and pay for your COVID-19 PCR test.
      • TEST – Go for your COVID-19 PCR departure test at MoHS-approved laboratory (see Question 7) no more than 72 hours before your flight or within the time limit stipulated by the destination country.
      • RECEIVE TEST CERTIFICATE – Wait for the laboratory to analyse your sample and email you your test certificate.
      • TRAVEL – Present your Travel Portal registration and test certificate at the airport before boarding your flight.
      • TRAVEL – Present your Travel Portal registration at the airport before boarding your flight.
  7. Are COVID-19 PCR departure tests free?
    No, COVID-19 PCR departure tests for those travelling out of Sierra Leone by air are not free. One test costs Le500* (standard service) or Le800* (premium service).
  8. How do I pay for my COVID-19 PCR departure test if required?
    After registering on the Travel Portal www.travel.gov.sl you can make the payment for your test via Union Trust (UT) Bank, Orange money or Afrimoney.
  9. Where are the MoHS-approved laboratories?
    If you have applied online and selected the regular service, you can go for testing at one of the following approved testing centres which are opened from Monday to Saturday between the hours of 8:30am and 3:00pm:
    • Western Area:
      • Jui Government Hospital Laboratory
      • Macauley Street Government Hospital Laboratory
      • King Harman Road Government Hospital Laboratory
    • Other Districts:
      • Makeni Government Hospital
      • Bo Government Hospital
      • Kenema Government Hospital
    If you have paid for the premium service (only available to those in Western Area), you can choose where to be tested, but you must call 117 to book an appointment time and specify your preferred location. The healthcare worker will come to meet you at the agreed time and place to carry out the test.
  10. When should I go for the test?
    It is advisable to go for your COVID-19 PCR departure test approximately 48 hours before your flight. Tests must be conducted no more than 72 hours before your flight departure time. However, if your destination country has specific deadlines that lie outside of these, please be guided by the deadlines of your destination country. You must also note that it takes 24-48 hours to get your test result. It is your responsibility to go for your COVID- 19 PCR test with enough time before your flight so that your results (and certificate, if negative) will be ready before you fly. It is also your responsibility to check the requirements for the country you are travelling to (see Important Note below).

    If you are over 12 years old and unvaccinated, you have to show proof of a COVD-19 test before you are allowed to fly. The table below when test was conducted.

    TEST CONDUCTED CERTIFICATE AVAILABLE CERTIFICATE VALID UNTIL
    Monday (by 1pm) Earliest: Tuesday Latest: Wednesday Thursday (same time as time swab taken)
    Tuesday (by 1pm) Earliest: Wednesday Latest: Thursday Friday (same time as time swab taken)
    Wednesday (by 1pm) Earliest: Thursday Latest: Friday Saturday (same time as time swab taken)
    Thursday (by 1pm) Earliest: Friday Latest: Saturday Sunday (same time as time swab taken)
    Friday (by 1pm) Earliest: Saturday Latest: Sunday Monday (same time as time swab taken)
    Saturday (by 1pm) Earliest: Tuesday Latest: Wednesday Thursday (same time as time swab taken)
    Sunday (by 1pm) Earliest: Monday Latest: Tuesday Wednesday (same time as time swab taken)
    IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember, no more than 72 hours before the flight departure time is Sierra Leone’s COVID-19 departure protocol, the country you are travelling to may have its own entry requirements regarding when your COVID-19 test should have been done in relation to when you arrive. For example, some countries require negative COVID-19 certificates from tests conducted no more than 48 hours before you arrive. It is up to you to look these requirements up and factor them in when deciding when to go for your test (If the country you are going to requires negative COVID-19 certificates from tests conducted very close to the flight arrival time, see Question 18).
  11. What do I need to have with me at the time of testing?
    When you go for your test, you must have with you your unique SO (Sierra Leone Outbound) number to show you have applied online at https://travel.gov.sl and proof of payment to show that you have already paid for your test via mobile money. The healthcare worker will check these before conducting your test.
  12. What kind of test will be conducted?
    The test that will be performed is a PCR test (diagnostic test) to screen for active COVID-19 infection. It is done by taking a nasal swab.
  13. C.3 GETTING YOUR COVID-19 PCR TEST RESULTS
  14. How will I get my test result?
    Wait for the laboratory to analyse your sample and email you your test certificate. Test results will be ready approximately 24-48 hours from the time when the swab was taken.
  15. Do I have to print my negative COVID-19 certificate before I travel?(For passengers 12 years and over who are partially or not vaccinated or passengers whose country of destination require either a PCR or RDT COVID-19 test)
    You will need to show your negative COVID-19 certificate at Lungi International Airport. You can print your certificate and show the hard copy at the airport, or, if you have a smart phone, you can show the downloaded certificate to the airport officials on your smart phone screen. However, if there is a chance your smart phone battery will not last for the entire journey, or the country you are travelling to requires hard-copy certificates on arrival, then you should print your certificate before travelling.
  16. What will happen if I test positive?
    If you test positive you will not be allowed to travel and should isolate at home for two weeks and those you have been in contact with will be contacted. If you test positive and are sick or high-risk, a healthcare worker will discuss the best treatment options with you.
  17. I was tested but did not receive my result, what do I do?
    If more than 48 hours have passed and your negative COVID-19 certificate has not been emailed to you / is not available on the Travel Portal, and you have not been visited by a healthcare worker, call 117 to enquire.
  18. What will happen if I fail to comply with COVID-19 departure protocols?
    If you are over 12 years old and unvaccinated and you do not have a unique SO number from the Travel Portal and a valid COVID-19 test certificate, you will not be allowed to leave the country.
  19. What should I do if I have technical difficulties registering on the online Travel Portal or downloading and/or printing my COVID-19 certificate?
    Call 117 or email [email protected]
  20. If I follow the above steps am I guaranteed entry to the country I am travelling to?
    No, these are the steps you must take to be fully compliant with Sierra Leone’s COVID-19 departure protocols, the country you are travelling to may have additional COVID-19 arrival protocol that you must satisfy. For example, some countries require negative COVID-19 test certificates even from those who are fully-vaccinated, or from children as young as 2, or they require COVID-19 RDT test results not PCR. It is your responsibility to look up and ensure compliance with the arrival protocols for the country you are visiting
  21. C.4 SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS
  22. The country I am travelling to requires me to have a negative COVID-19 test certificate from a PCR test conducted very close to the flight arrival time, what do I do?
    If the country you are travelling to requires you to have a negative COVID-19 test certificate from a PCR test conducted very close to the flight arrival time (i.e. within 24-48 hours of the flight landing), you can call 117 or send an email to [email protected] to make inquiries/request a special service.
  23. The country I am travelling to requires me to have a Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) before travelling, what do I do?
    If the country you are travelling to requires you to have an RDT test before travelling, you can pay to have this done at Lungi International Airport prior to departure. COVID-19 RDT tests cost Le300* payable through UTB, Orange money or Afrimoney.
  24. D. TRAVELLING INTO SIERRA LEONE BY LAND

  25. I plan to travel into Sierra Leone by land, what should I expect at the land border?
    When you cross into Sierra Leone you should expect to go through a health screening process (including temperature check and health questionnaire). To complete the health questionnaire, you must be able to give your phone number, the address for where you are going, and the phone number of someone who can be contacted in case of an emergency.
  26. E. TRAVELLING INTO SIERRA LEONE BY AIR

    E.1 COVID-19 ARRIVAL PROTOCOLS FOR ALL INBOUND PASSENGERS
  27. I plan to travel into Sierra Leone by air, what are the steps I must take to be fully compliant with COVID-19 arrival protocols?
    Once you have purchased your air ticket(s) you must follow the below steps.
    • FULLY-VACCINATED PASSENGERS & CHILDREN UNDER 12 YEARS OLD:
      1. REGISTER ON THE TRAVEL PORTAL - Register online at https//.travel.gov.sll to receive a unique SI (Sierra Leone Inbound) number.
      2. TRAVEL – Present your Travel Portal registration at the airport on departure and arrival.
    • UNVACCINATED PASSENGERS OVER 12 YEARS OLD:
      1. REGISTER & PAY ON THE TRAVEL PORTAL - Register online at www.travel.gov.sl to receive a unique SI (Sierra Leone Inbound) number, and pay for your COVID-19 PCR arrival test.
      2. TRAVEL – Present your Travel Portal registration and proof of payment at the airport on departure and arrival.
  28. What should I expect on arrival to Lungi International Airport?
    On arrival all passengers (except diplomatic passport-holders) will go through a COVID-19 screening process. Passenger temperatures will be taken and basic health and travel history questions asked. An airport official will check that all passengers have registered on the Travel Portal, then:
    • Children under 12 will be allowed to leave the airport.
    • Fully-vaccinated passengers will be asked to show proof of vaccination and then will be allowed to leave the airport.
    • Unvaccinated passengers over 12 will be asked to show proof of payment for their COVID-19 PCR arrival test and will then be tested, before being allowed to leave the airport. You will receive your COVID-19 PCR arrival test result by text message, phone call, email or visit from a COVID-19 response worker within 24-72 hours.
  29. E.2 PROOVING VACCINATION STATUS
  30. What documentation will I be expected to show at the airport to prove I am fully-vaccinated?
    You will be asked to show your vaccine card (paper version or digital version) and your I.D.
  31. E.3 TAKING YOUR COVID-19 PCR ARRIVAL TEST
  32. What happens if the result from my COVID-19 PCR arrival test is positive?
    If your COVID-19 PCR arrival test result is positive, you will be visited by a healthcare worker at your location who will give further guidance and instruction. You will have to home isolate or quarantine, and may need to go to a treatment centre if you are experiencing symptoms or are a high-risk patient – a healthcare worker will discuss the best options with you.
  33. What should I do if I don’t receive the result from my COVID-19 arrival test taken at the airport in 72 hours?
    If more than 72 hours have passed and you have not received your result, call 117 quoting your name, date of arrival, airline, reference number or travel ID number, and local phone number that you can be contacted on.
  34. What will happen if I fail to comply with COVID-19 arrival protocols?
    If you have not registered on the Travel Portal you will not be allowed to enter the country. If you are over 12 and fail to present vaccine documentation you will be considered unvaccinated. If you are unvaccinated and fail to pay and accept COVID-19 testing on arrival, punitive action will be taken.
  35. F.ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: WHO NEEDS TO HAVE A COVID-19 PCR TEST BEFORE TRAVELLING OR ON ARRIVAL?

  36. Do all outbound passengers need to have a COVID-19 PCR departure test before travelling out of Sierra Leone?
    No, only passengers who are over 12 years old and not fully vaccinated (see Question 30 for definition of ‘fully- vaccinated’) need to have a COVID-19 PCR departure test before travelling.

    The following groups are all exempt from testing before travelling:
    • Fully-vaccinated passengers of any age;
    • Passengers under 12 years old (regardless of vaccine status);
    • Unvaccinated passengers over 12 years old who flew into the country less than five days before their departure date and were tested on arrival.
  37. My son/daughter/nephew/niece is 12 years old and unvaccinated; does he/she need to have a COVID-19 PCR test before travelling out of Sierra Leone / on arrival to Sierra Leone?
    Yes, a passenger who is 12 years old or over and unvaccinated needs to be tested.
  38. I have received a COVID-19 vaccine; do I still need to have a COVID-19 PCR test before travelling out of Sierra Leone / on arrival to Sierra Leone?
    If you are fully-vaccinated (see Question 30 for definition of ‘fully-vaccinated’) you do not need to be tested. However, if you are over 12 and have had one COVID-19 vaccine but do not meet the below definition of fully- vaccinated, or are unvaccinated (see Question 31 for definition of ‘unvaccinated’), then you need to be tested.
  39. What does ‘fully-vaccinated’ mean?
    To be considered fully-vaccinated you must:
    • have had two doses of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine and the last dose must have been taken at least 14 days prior OR
    • have had one-dose of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior.
  40. What does ‘unvaccinated’ mean?
    The following categories of people will be considered unvaccinated. Any person over the age of 12 who:
    • has not had any COVID-19 vaccine doses;
    • has only had one dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine;
    • has had two doses of a two-dose vaccine but the second dose was less than 14 days ago;
    • had one dose of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine less than 14 days ago;
    • does not have documentation to prove they are fully-vaccinated on their person.
  41. How do I know what is a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine and what is a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine?
    All available COVID-19 vaccines except for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine are two-dose vaccines because you need to have two-doses for them to be effective. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is currently the only available one-dose COVID-19 vaccine on the market
  42. G. FURTHER INFORMATION

  43. Where can I get more information? For more information:
    • Call 117 free from all networks;
    • Visit the following social media pages:
    • Read the other FAQs in this series:
      • FAQs – COVID-19 Preventive Measures & Testing Services in Sierra Leone
      • FAQs – COVID-19 Vaccine Roll-Out in Sierra Leone