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Mali travel advice

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel to:

the whole of Mali based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks

In addition and for security reasons the FCDO advises against all travel to:

  • The provinces of Tombouctou, Kidal, Gao and Mopti
  • Areas of Segou province north of the Niger river
  • Areas west of the border between Mali and Burkina Faso, as far as, and including the towns of San, Koutiala, Sikasso and Kadiolo (Segou and Sikasso provinces)
  • Within 25km of the border with Mauritania in areas west of Bafoulabé (Kayes province)
  • Areas of Kayes and Koulikoro provinces north of the area between the towns of Bafoulabé and Banamba, as far as the Segou border

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:

  • The rest of Mali, including Bamako

Travel to Mali is subject to entry restrictions

  • Modibo Keita International Airport is open.

  • To enter Mali you will either need to present a negative COVID test certificate less than 72 hours old to the airport authorities, or be tested on arrival at the airport.

See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.

Preparing for your return journey to the UK

If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:

If your return journey to the UK transits another country, you should check whether it is subject to a travel ban or any other additional requirements. If so, contact your travel provider.

Following military coup on 18 August 2020, the situation in Bamako calm. You should remain vigilant and monitor local media for any developments.

Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.

If you’re planning travel to Mali, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Mali, including kidnaps. There is a heightened risk of attack in Bamako. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. You should be vigilant, especially in places such as hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shopping areas, markets, transport hubs, places of worship and businesses with western interests. Keep a low profile and follow the advice of local authorities. Avoid all large gatherings, including music festivals, sporting events and any public marches or demonstrations. See Terrorism

There have been recent changes in the security situation in parts of Segou and Sikasso. See Local travel and Terrorism

During public holidays and festivals, including New Year celebrations, security measures in Mali can be heightened due to the ongoing threat posed by terrorist organisations. During such periods you should exercise increased vigilance, limit your movements and continue to avoid large gatherings. If you think a particular venue would present a good target for terrorist activities then you should consider whether you need to visit it.

A nationwide state of emergency in place since November 2015 has been extended several times, most recently in October 2019 by one year until 31 October 2020. You should expect a robust security presence including police patrols and possible police security checks on restaurants and hotels. There are likely to be more vehicle and personal security checks during this time and nobody will be exempt.

Mali held legislative elections in March and April 2020. Since 1 May, regular, large and at times violent protests have taken place in Bamako, resulting in burning of tires, clashes with the police, blockage on the roads and bridges, the deployment of tear gas, and small arms fire. There have been reports of several deaths and injuries. You should avoid large gatherings, remain vigilant and monitor local social media/news.

On 19 August 2020, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (IBK) announced his resignation following a military coup. See Political situation

Recent public demonstrations in and around Bamako have encountered a strong police and security force presence. You should stay away from all political demonstrations and any blockades set up by the police and security forces. Maintain several days’ stock of food and water in case disturbances take place. You can monitor daily developments in English through the BBC World Service (88.9 FM in Bamako).

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

Consular support is severely limited in parts of Mali, especially outside Bamako. If you’re in Bamako and need urgent help from the UK Government, please call the FCDO on 020 7008 5000.

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