Ethiopia declares State of Emergency to curb transmission of Coronavirus

14 Apr 2020

Addis Ababa, 14 April 2020

In accordance with Article 93 of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Government declared a 5-month State of Emergency in an effort to limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Prime Minister announced the Government’s decision to declare a State of Emergency, describing it as one made in the interest of safeguarding current and future generations. Following its approval by the Council of Ministers, Proclamation 3/2020, also known as the “State of Emergency Proclamation Enacted to Counter and Control the Spread of COVID-19 and Mitigate Its Impact”, made its passage through the House of Peoples’ Representatives on Friday 10 April 2020. Furthermore, the House endorsed a seven-member State of Emergency inquiry board to scrutinise its implementation in accordance with the Constitution.

Following its accession into law, the Federal Attorney General, H.E Adanech Abebe, issued regulations to further define the measures associated with the State of Emergency including:

  • The banning of all public gatherings of more than four people. The ban will apply to all religious, governmental, non-governmental, commercial, political and social gatherings. Further, where the gathering is of a group of four people, individuals will be expected to ensure that they are 2 metres apart at all times.
  • However, the Proclamation does include provisions for funerals and other essential functions to take place based on exceptional approval on a case-by-case basis from the relevant authorities.
  • Greetings by handshake are banned.
  • All movements at land borders, except for the flow of cargo and essential goods, will be banned.
  • Transportation service-providers are to reduce passenger loads by 50% for all national and local journeys with immediate effect. Additionally, train services within Addis Ababa, as well as on the Addis Ababa – Djibouti route, are to operate passenger capacity at 25% on all journeys.
  • Landlords are henceforth banned from evicting or increasing rents on private tenants residing in their properties for the duration of the State of Emergency.
  • All commercial and private employers bound by the Labour proclamation will be prohibited from reducing their workforces or prematurely terminating employment contracts.
  • Students and teachers are banned from meeting and will only be permitted to connect online or by other means that do not contravene social distancing measures.
  • Although lawyers will still be able to confer with their clients in correctional facilities with the necessary precautions in place, going forward, all other visitations to these facilities will be prohibited.
  • Sporting activities at all levels are prohibited.
  • Children’s playgrounds and other such venues will be closed.

Any person failing to comply with these obligations will face up to three years imprisonment or a fine of between 1,000 and 200,000 Ethiopian Birr (£25.00 – £5,000.00).

It was also announced that the State of Emergency and the associated measures for its implementation can be revised at any point by the Council of Ministers based on the prevailing circumstances at the time.

—ENDS—

For further information, please contact the Press Office on 020 7838 3883 | press@ethioembassy.org.uk

For daily updates, follow the Embassy on social media: @EthioEmbassyUK

Background:

On Friday, 13th February 2020, Ethiopia confirmed its first case of COVID-19. At the time of publishing (14th April 2020), the total number of cases had risen to eighty-two (82), of which fourteen (14) have recovered, two have been transferred to their home countries and three have sadly died. Daily updates are being provided by the Ministry of Health via social media as well as the Ethiopian COVID-19 monitoring platform at www.covid19.et.

Latest News

Browse all
Statement from His Excellency Teferi Melesse Desta, Ethiopian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, on the International Day of Peace.
21 Sep 2020
Embassy Celebrates International Day of Peace 2020
Opening remarks by H.E. Dagmawit Moges, Ethiopia's Minister of Transport, at the World Car Free Day Summit. This year, the Summit (21 - 22 September) is co-hosted by London Car Free Day and Menged Le Sew, Ethiopia's Open Streets movement.
21 Sep 2020
World Car Free Day Summit: Opening Keynote by H.E. Dagmawit Moges
His Excellency Teferi Melesse Desta assumed his post today (Monday 14 September 2020) as successor to the previous Ethiopian Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Mr Fesseha Shawel Gebre.
14 Sep 2020
Ethiopian Ambassador, Teferi Melesse, assumes duties in the United Kingdom
As we welcome the year 2013 in the Ethiopian calendar, on behalf of the Ethiopian Embassy in London, I would like to extend my heartfelt wishes for a peaceful, prosperous and successful new year to all Ethiopians, at home and abroad. I take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the Government and people of the United Kingdom, and…
4 Sep 2020
Ethiopian New Year Message from the Chargé d’Affaires a.i.
Europe will soon discover the delicious fruit and vegetables Ethiopia has to offer! On 22nd August, Ethiopia carried out its first export of avocados by train from Modjo Dry Port, under a pilot project forming part of the National Cool Logistics Network. The 24-tonne refrigerated consignment was produced by dozens of farmers in the Koga area, south of Bahir Dar.
28 Aug 2020
Ethiopia exports first avocados by train
Ethiopian Airlines has successfully completed a new passenger terminal at its hub Bole International Airport with emphasis on Bio Security and Bio Safety measures. The new terminal is the first in the world to be completed after Covid-19. It was designed, not re-purposed, with Bio safety and Bio security in mind.
28 Aug 2020
Ethiopian Airlines unveils Bole International Airport’s new terminal
Embassy services were interrupted recently as a result of violent protests by a small group who harassed both Embassy staff and customers who had arrived to apply for visas and other services. One of our staff was injured and received hospital treatment. As of August 26, the Embassy resumed regular services and all staff are working as it is now…
27 Aug 2020
Incident at the Ethiopian Embassy, London
The Virgin Money London Marathon confirmed the full fields for the historic elite men’s and women’s races, scheduled to take place on Sunday 4th October. Ten Ethiopians will participate including Kenenisa Bekele, Tamirat Tola and Roza Dereje. 
24 Aug 2020
Full 2020 London Marathon fields confirmed – Ethiopians dominate
On 16th August, Ethiopia’s prosperity initiatives went regional. The ‘Dine for Ethiopia’ programme was launched to mobilise funds for three projects - in Gorgora, Wonchi and Koysha. The new initiative aims to raise 3 billion Birr within two months. Business and the community at large can buy tickets individually or for their family, or company. It is open to all,…
19 Aug 2020
Prime Minister Abiy officially launches “Dine for Ethiopia” fundraising programme
Despite the global pandemic, Ethiopia has successfully planted 5 billion trees - a month ahead of the conclusion of the rainy season - as part of the 2020 Green Legacy Initiative. At the closing ceremony, held in Bahir Dar on 12 August, PM Abiy Ahmed thanked all Ethiopians for actively responding to the call for the greening campaign.
17 Aug 2020
Ethiopia hits 5 billion trees target as part of 2020 Green Legacy
Spurred on by the celebrations of the successful first filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) reservoir, the Embassy has been welcoming members of the Diaspora wishing to put their mark on this national project. The GERD is a source of national pride for many Ethiopians. Most of the funds for the dam have been raised from Ethiopians through…
14 Aug 2020
Diaspora support for the Renaissance Dam