Fire and rescue services
We continue to advise:
Do not travel to Yemen (including the island of Socotra) due to ongoing armed conflict, and the very high threat of kidnapping and terrorism.
We continue to advise:
Do not travel to Yemen (including the island of Socotra) due to ongoing armed conflict, and the very high threat of kidnapping and terrorism.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Full travel advice: Local contacts
Do not travel to Yemen due to the ongoing civil and international conflict. There's extreme political instability.
Violent jihadist groups have a strong presence in some parts of Yemen.
Terrorists have staged repeated attacks against Yemeni Government interests and civilian targets. Foreign interests continue to be prime terrorist targets.
Government forces, Houthi and other groups continue to fight in most parts of the country.
Tribal fighting over land is common. Tribes may use weapons, including in major cities.
Countries in the region have conducted airstrikes previously, and airstrikes may recommence without warning. Some regional countries also have a military presence in Yemen.
The long ongoing conflict has led to a severe breakdown in government services. It has also affected the supply of staple goods across the country.
Terrorism and civil unrest have severely disrupted air travel and other means of leaving the country.
Most international flights have been suspended.
The conflict has damaged airport infrastructure.
You may not be able to get enough food, water or medical care.
If you're in Yemen despite our advice, leave now.
If you can't leave, take shelter in a safe place. Keep a low profile and explore all available options to leave.
Follow the advice from local authorities or trusted security experts before trying to leave by road.
There's no Australian Embassy or Consulate in Yemen, therefore we're unable to provide emergency consular or passport services to Australians in Yemen. Our ability to provide other consular and passport help is extremely limited. In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre in Australia on +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas or 1300 555 135 from Australia.
Australian officials have been instructed not to travel to Yemen because of security concerns.
The US and UK governments have recalled their diplomatic staff and suspended embassy operations.
If you enter the country or remain despite our advice:
There's a very high threat of kidnapping throughout Yemen.
Terrorists have kidnapped foreigners in recent years, including aid workers and journalists. Some foreign hostages have been killed.
Kidnappings occur in urban and rural settings around Yemen.
Terrorist groups, tribal groups and criminal gangs kidnap foreigners, including Australians. Tribal groups and gangs sell victims to terrorist groups.
Kidnappers often ask for large ransom payments to release their captives.
The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it doesn't make payments or concessions to kidnappers.
If, despite our advice, you decide to travel to an area where there's a threat of kidnapping, you should:
There's a very high threat of terrorism throughout the country.
Terrorist targets include:
Foreign officials, business travellers, tourists and foreign residents have also been targets.
Terrorists can launch attacks in all parts of Yemen. Attacks against foreigners happen in urban and regional areas. Nowhere is safe from violence.
Terrorists have attacked oil interests and kidnapped foreign oil workers. They may be planning more attacks on oil infrastructure in Yemen.
If you decide to remain in Yemen despite our advice:
All Australians are at risk, regardless of occupation, ethnic or religious background, location or length of stay.
Always be alert. Keep a low profile and vary your routines. Make sure patterns in your behaviour and movement aren't obvious to anyone watching.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
The security situation in the region remains unpredictable and could deteriorate with little or no warning.
Demonstrations and protests
Important dates and political anniversaries can motivate violence and civil unrest.
Significant civil unrest occurs around days related to the reunification of North and South Yemen. This includes Unity Day on 22 May.
If you're in Yemen, despite our advice, you should:
Be careful around Friday prayers, and stay indoors.
Monitor the media for safety and security risks, including significant political events that may increase tensions.
Protests and demonstrations may affect your ability to travel by road.
Weapons are readily available, and tribes are often heavily armed.
Armed carjacking has occurred in many parts of the country. Drive with your doors locked and windows up at all times.
Pickpocketing, bag snatching and credit card fraud, such as skimming, may happen.
Women travelling alone can be harassed and should take care, especially at night.
In Houthi-controlled areas (central and northern Yemen), authorities may seek to detain women participating in community and leadership activities, or women travelling without a male guardian.
You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you’re connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.
Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions, or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.
Yemen experiences severe weather.
The monsoon season is from June to September. Flooding can occur.
Sandstorms and dust storms can happen.
Yemen has earthquakes and active volcanoes.
Register with the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to receive alerts on major disasters.
If a natural disaster happens, follow the advice of local authorities.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave.
Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. Be aware that most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept Australian or other health insurance. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
You'll probably need a specialised insurance policy that covers travel to high-risk destinations. Most Australian policies won't cover you for travel to Yemen.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
If you have immediate concerns for your welfare, or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Yemen. Take enough legal medication for your trip.
Always carry a copy of your prescription and a dated letter from your doctor stating:
COVID-19 remains a risk in Yemen.
You should consult your local health professional for advice on vaccine options, including assistance that may be available locally. The Australian Government cannot provide advice on the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines that have been approved for use outside of Australia's regulatory process.
Due to the current and ongoing conflict in Yemen, it may not be adequately prepared to care for COVID-19 patients and contain the spread of the virus.
Respiratory system risks
Cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been reported in Middle Eastern countries, including Yemen.
Countries outside the Middle East have also reported cases from returning travellers.
The altitude in the Sana'a region can cause problems, especially for those who suffer from lung, heart or chest problems.
Malaria is common, except in areas above 2000m.
Chloroquine-resistant strains have been reported.
To protect yourself from disease:
Get medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, rash or severe headache.
Other health risks
Waterborne, foodborne, parasitic and other infectious diseases are common. These include:
Severe outbreaks sometimes happen. Ensure all your vaccinations are up to date before you travel.
A major cholera outbreak has intensified since late April 2017. Cholera is spread mainly through contaminated drinking water or food. In addition to cholera, other contagious diseases are circulating in the country.
To stay safe:
Get medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
The standard of medical facilities is poor.
The current conflict has made it difficult to access medical services.
You need to pay upfront if you're treated in private health care facilities. Most hospitals may accept cash payments only.
For serious illness, an accident, or complex procedures, you may need to be medically evacuated. Medical evacuation can be very expensive and difficult to organise.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail. There is no Australian Embassy or Consulate in Yemen, therefore we are unable to provide emergency services to Australians in Yemen.
Get professional legal advice if you're involved in local legal matters. This includes criminal, business or family law, divorce, child custody and child support.
Be aware of your rights and responsibilities.
If you wish to marry a Yemeni national, your partner will first need approval from the Government of Yemen. Check current requirements and timeframes directly with the relevant local authorities.
Punishment for possessing, using or trafficking illegal drugs is severe. Penalties include fines, jail or the death penalty.
Authorities can detain you without charge if you're suspected of committing an offence.
You may have to wait months for legal help or for a court appearance while authorities investigate.
Trials are held under Islamic law and procedures.
People convicted of serious offences can face:
Penalties for some offences are severe and can carry the death penalty. These offences include:
Some crimes are punishable by lashing. These include drinking alcohol in public, slander and adultery.
Get permission before taking photographs of people, especially women and children.
It's illegal to take photos of:
Military sites aren't always clearly marked or defined.
Preaching religion other than Islam in public, except in churches, is illegal. Attempting to convert Muslims is illegal.
Restrictions apply to the sale of alcohol, pornography and pork. Customs authorities at border entry points will confiscate these products.
In some cases, authorities have detained travellers at borders because of the smell of alcohol on their breath.
Yemen doesn't recognise or allow same-sex marriages and rights.
Same-sex relationships are illegal, and sentences can include imprisonment or the death penalty.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
The Islamic holiday month of Ramadan is observed in Yemen. Respect religious and cultural customs and laws at this time.
During Ramadan, eating, drinking and smoking may be illegal in public during the day. If you're not fasting, avoid these activities around people who are. Seek local advice to avoid offence.
Explore our Ramadan page to learn more, including dates for Ramadan.
Dress and behaviour standards
There are strict Islamic codes of dress and behaviour. Any disrespect for Islam will cause offence. Be modest in your dress and behaviour. Take care not to offend. If in doubt, get local advice.
Wear a headscarf and cover your arms and legs if you're a woman. Don't wear shorts or unbuttoned shirts if you're a man.
Other local customs
Non-Muslims may not enter mosques.
Public displays of affection may cause offence.
It's generally unacceptable for unmarried couples to live together.
Hotels may not allow couples to stay unless they can prove they are married.
Yemen doesn't recognise dual nationality.
If you're a dual citizen, and enter the country using a non-Australian passport, even limited consular and passport services may not be available.
Dual nationals may need to complete national service if they visit Yemen.
If you're a dual national, contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Yemen before you travel.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering.
We advise against all travel to Yemen, including the island of Socotra.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. You should contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Yemen for the latest details.
Australians are required to obtain a visa before entering Yemen.
If you're trying to leave, check exit requirements with local immigration authorities before you book your ticket.
Contact your airline and/or travel agent for their schedules and how to purchase tickets. You may be charged administrative fees.
Flights could be delayed or cancelled at short notice. Check with your airline before travelling to the airport.
All land borders with countries neighbouring Yemen, seaports and airports may close at short or without prior notice. Check with local authorities before travelling to the border. Check our travel advice for Saudi Arabia and Oman, which have land borders with Yemen.
Entry requirements can change at any time in response to any COVID-19 developments.
If you can show an official vaccination certificate issued from Australia or a foreign country of the vaccines that are accredited to the World Health Organization, you'll be exempt from quarantine and PCR testing on arrival.
For the latest information on Yemen's COVID-related travel restrictions, including PCR and vaccination requirements, check with local authorities or the nearest Yemeni Embassy/Consulate.
You should also check with your airline for the latest information on the airline's own boarding requirements.
Women can be subject to strict family controls and may be stopped from leaving the country.
In Houthi controlled areas, a decree has been issued that women may only travel if accompanied by a male guardian (“Mahram”). An exemption may be granted in some limited circumstances.
A Yemeni husband may legally stop his wife from leaving the country, regardless of her nationality.
Children under 18 must have their father's permission to leave the country. It doesn't matter what the status of their parent's marriage is or who has custody.
Single parents or adults travelling alone with children may need documentation. You may need evidence of parental responsibility before you're allowed to leave the country with children.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Lost or stolen passport
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can’t guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.
The local currency is the Yemeni Rial (YER).
ATMs are very rare outside Sana'a. US dollars in cash is the most easily convertible currency.
If you travel to Yemen against our advice, you should regularly assess your security arrangements and carefully plan your movements. Many areas are sensitive from a security or territorial point of view.
You may need permission from local authorities to travel outside Sana'a and some other cities.
Authorities may close access to certain areas without notice.
Unexploded weapons/munitions, including landmines, are an increasing danger. They can be found in the central highlands and the western, southern and eastern regions, especially around Aden, Lahij, Ad Dali, Al Hudaydah, Al Jawf, Ma'rib, Shabwah and Ta'iz and in Sa'ada province.
Travelling by road in conflict areas is dangerous. Don't consider it without expert local advice. Access routes in and out of major cities may be blocked or closed. Driving standards are poor, and mountain roads are hazardous. There is a severe shortage of fuel.
Other potential risks may include landmines and unexploded ordnance from the previous and ongoing conflicts, including in some rural areas and areas where there's conflict. Landmine locations may not be marked.
Avoid all road travel outside of the main cities at night.
Get advice from authorities before entering Yemeni waters or ports.
There are reports of sea mines planted in the southern Red Sea near ports and drifting sea mines near the border with Saudi Arabia.
Keep a safe distance from the FSO Safer supertanker, moored approximately 4.8 nautical miles off Yemen’s Red Sea coast near Hodeidah Port, which is at risk of exploding or sinking.
There's a high threat of piracy in coastal areas.
Pirates have attacked different types of vessels in and around Yemen's waters and the Gulf of Aden.
Somali pirates use motherships to attack shipping further than 1000 nautical miles (1850km) from the coast of Somalia.
All types of vessels are targets for pirates, including commercial vessels, pleasure craft such as yachts, and luxury cruise liners.
Use extreme caution anywhere near these waters.
The security situation remains volatile. There's widespread disruption to air travel and other departure options.
The safety record of airlines in Yemen is not available. There is no data about how well local planes are maintained. This lack of transparency raises concerns about airline safety.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Yemen's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Emergency services may not be available or reliable. Don't rely on them.
Depending on what you need, you should contact your:
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
The phone network is unreliable and limited outside of cities and large towns. Internet services are available but are very unreliable on mobile networks.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
Australia doesn't have an embassy or consulate in Yemen, therefore the Australian government and Embassy in Riyadh are unable to provide emergency services to Australians in Yemen.
The ability of the Australian Government to provide consular help to Australians in Yemen is extremely limited.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact the Australian Embassy in Riyadh, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre in Australia on +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas or 1300 555 135 from Australia.
Australian Embassy, Riyadh
Abdullah Bin Hozafa Al-Shami Avenue
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Phone: +966 11 2500 900
Fax: +966 11 2500 902
Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
The working week is Sunday to Thursday.
24-hour Consular Emergency Centre
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
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