Do not travel to the Central African Republic due to COVID-19, Embassy Bangui’s limited capacity to provide support to U.S. citizens, crime, civil unrest, kidnapping, and elections.
Due to ongoing armed group activity and supply chain disruptions, on January 14, 2021, the Department ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees.
The presidential election occurred on December 27, 2020. Although there have been no specific incidents of violence or threats targeting U.S. citizens, civil unrest, demonstrations, and election-related violence (including renewed outbreaks of armed conflict) may occur throughout the country in the period following the election.
Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for the Central African Republic due to COVID-19.
The Central African Republic has resumed most transportation options (including airport operations and re-opening of borders) and business operations (including schools and restaurants). Other improved conditions have been reported within the Central African Republic. Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in the Central African Republic.
Violent crime, such as armed robbery, aggravated battery, and homicide is common.
Armed groups control large areas of the country and they regularly kidnap, injure, and/or kill civilians. In the event of unrest, airport, land border, and road closures may occur with little or no notice.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the Central African Republic. U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel outside the Embassy compound. Family members cannot accompany U.S. government employees who work in the Central African Republic.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
Read the Country Information page.
If you decide to travel to Central African Republic (CAR):
- See the U.S. Embassy’s web page regarding COVID-19.
- Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.
- Enroll your trip in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
- Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
- Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
- Share important documents, login information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs, if you are unable to return as planned to the United States. Find a suggested list of such documents here.
- Be sure to appoint one family member to serve as the point of contact with hostage-takers, media, U.S. and host country government agencies, and Members of Congress, if you are taken hostage or detained.
- Establish a proof of life protocol with your loved ones, so that if you are taken hostage, your loved ones can know specific questions (and answers) to ask the hostage-takers to be sure that you are alive (and to rule out a hoax)
- Leave DNA samples with your medical provider in case it is necessary for your family to access them.
- Erase any sensitive photos, comments, or other materials from your social media pages, cameras, laptops, and other electronic devices that could be considered controversial or provocative by local groups.
- Leave your expensive/sentimental belongings behind.
- Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
- Review your personal security plans, be vigilant, and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.
- Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Report for Central African Republic (CAR).
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Last Update: Reissued with updates to add information about the ordered departure for U.S. Embassy Bangui.