Event: To keep the U.S. citizen community apprised of ongoing developments related to COVID-19 in Timor-Leste, the U.S. Embassy will continue to rebroadcast alerts as needed and include new pertinent information in bold for quick reference.
The government of Timor-Leste has implemented enhanced screening and quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including the announcement of a “State of Emergency,” which went into effect March 28 and has been extended until May 27. This Decree Law enforces social distancing measures, including the prohibition of meetings, social, cultural, religious, sporting events, and demonstrations; restricts travel overseas and within municipalities; implements mandatory quarantines for arrivals; and imposes new sanitation requirements when engaging in commercial activities and receiving public services. The Council of Ministers announced the reinstatement of public transportation, including microlets and taxis April 29.
Specific requirements of the State of Emergency include:
- Public transportation travel and vehicles containing multiple passengers are reportedly restricted from traveling between districts. F-FDTL, PNTL, and MOH officials have established check points across the country to enforce travel restrictions and social distancing policies. PNTL is also enforcing social distancing rules at checkpoints within Dili.
- Foreigners are no longer authorized to enter Timor-Leste. Exceptions include permanent residents of Timor-Leste, those who were born in Timor-Leste, those responsible for transporting and releasing goods (with restrictions to remain in the “international zone” of airports, seaports, and land borders), those who are legal representatives of Timorese minors, and those who work on oil rigs in the Timor Sea. The Prime Minister may allow additional exemptions on a case-by-case basis.
- Entrants to Timor-Leste will be subject to mandatory isolation for a minimum of fourteen days.
- Those people not in mandatory isolation, those who do not have a job, or those who have been exempted from working at their normal location must remain in their residence.
- Persons leaving their residence must travel alone, maintain a distance of one meter (three feet) from others, and avoid gatherings of people.
- Everyone must wash or sanitize their hands before entering commercial establishments or service providing facilities, wear a mask that protects their mouth and nose, and maintain a distance of one meter (three feet) from others. This applies to stores, markets, and other venues.
- Individuals will be prevented from entering a premise if they register a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) or above, and the establishment is required to report any such individuals to health authorities.
- Meetings or demonstrations of more than five people are prohibited, including social, cultural, sporting, and religious gatherings.
- Licenses and authorizations, including visas granted to foreigners living and working in Timor-Leste, will remain valid for as long as these State of Emergency measures remain in force, regardless of the stated expiration date.
Travel conditions can change rapidly; however, local sources report on May 4:
- Timor-Leste will temporarily close its borders and no longer allow travelers, regardless of citizenship, to enter or exit the country beginning April 13 until further notice. Exemptions will require approval from the Prime Minister’s Office.
- President Nicolao Lobato International Airport will be restricted for international and domestic commercial operations effective April 4 until further notice. Medical evacuations, humanitarian relief, and state aircraft operations may be permitted with advanced coordination with the Civil Aviation Authority of Timor-Leste (AACTL, I.P.).
- Indonesia has enacted a ban on foreign nationals entering the country effective April 2 until an undetermined date in the future. U.S. citizens are advised to contact the Indonesian Embassy with additional questions. Visit the website of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for additional information on these new measures.
- Australia has implemented travel restrictions for all non-Australian passport holders with few exemptions for permanent residents and immediate family members. If you wish to transit through Australia and do not automatically meet exemption categories, you are able to apply for an exemption from the Australian Border Force Commissioner to travel back to the United States.
- According to the Australian Northern Territory Government, all travelers arriving in Darwin (international and interstate), including those wishing to eventually transit on to other destinations, will be subject to mandatory isolation for 14 days at a government-chosen accommodation/hotel at their own expense.
- If onward transit requires a domestic flight to a second or third Australian airport, travelers will need to complete the entire 14-day mandatory isolation before departing Darwin. If onward transit directly from Darwin is on an international flight, travelers are currently able to transit immediately or leave mandatory isolation once a flight is scheduled to depart. Please note that this advice is subject to change in this fast-moving policy environment. For more information on the most up to date Australian travel restrictions, please consult the Australian Department of Home Affairs.
- Singapore has barred admission to non-Singaporean citizens, including those transiting on to other countries, and flights to Singapore have been suspended.
On March 19, the Department of State issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory.
Travelers should be prepared for additional travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. Visit the website of the government of Timor-Leste for additional information on these new measures.
On March 14, the Department of State authorized the voluntary departure from any diplomatic or consular post in the world of U.S. personnel and family members who have been medically determined to be at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Peace Corps evacuated all Volunteers from Timor-Leste.
Many travelers worldwide have reported unexpected flight cancellations and limited flight availability. If your travel has been disrupted, please contact your airline.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Global Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel Notice and a Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel Notice for Timor-Leste.
Actions to Take:
- For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
- Check with your airlines, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
- Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Timor-Leste.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.
U.S. Embassy Dili, Timor-Leste
Avenida de Portugal,
Praia dos Coqueiros,
(+670) 7723-1328 (after hours)
State Department – Consular Affairs
(1)-888-407-4747 or (1)-202-501-4444
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