Fire and rescue services
We haven't changed our level of advice:
Do not travel to Yemen due to the very high threat of kidnapping and terrorist attack.
Do not travel to Yemen, including the island of Socotra.
Do not travel
If you do travel, get professional security advice. Your travel insurance policy might be void. The Australian Government may not be able to help you.
Do not travel to Yemen due to ongoing conflict, extreme political instability and the very high threat of kidnapping and terrorist attack.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Full travel advice: Local contacts
Don't travel to Yemen because of 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. Western 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 continue to conduct airstrikes. Some also have a military presence in Yemen.
The drawn-out, ongoing conflict has led to a severe breakdown in government services. It's also affected the supply of staple goods across the country.
There's a very high threat of kidnapping throughout Yemen.
Terrorists have kidnapped foreigners in recent years.
Kidnappings occur in:
Sana'a and areas surrounding the city
In December 2014, a US citizen and a South African citizen died during a rescue attempt.
Terrorist groups, tribal groups and criminal gangs all 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:
arrange personal security measures
get professional security advice
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.
Our ability to provide consular help is extremely limited.
Australian officials have been instructed not to travel to Yemen for now because of security concerns.
Both the US and UK governments have recalled their diplomatic staff and suspended embassy operations.
If you enter the country or remain despite our advice:
keep in contact with family and friends
don't travel alone or at night
check routes before you travel
don't put your travel or other plans on social media
work with only reliable, registered and authorised organisations and travel agencies
don't carry large amounts of cash
There's a very high threat of terrorism throughout the country.
Yemeni Government interests, including sites near security forces and ministries
Houthi interests, including mosques
civilians, including Westerners
Foreign officials, business travellers, tourists and foreign residents have also been targets.
Embassies, diplomatic vehicles, international businesses and hotels are also 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:
get professional security advice
adopt strict security procedures
carefully consider the need of all travel
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.
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:
avoid major events because violence could happen
don't go to any demonstrations, protests or political rallies
stay away from large crowds because they often turn violent
Be careful around Friday prayers and stay indoors.
Monitor the media for safety and security risks. This includes important political events that may increase tensions.
Protests and demonstrations may affect your ability to travel by road.
Weapons are easily available, and tribes are often heavily armed.
Armed carjacking has happened in many parts of the country. Drive with your doors locked and windows up at all times.
Pickpocketing and bag snatching rarely happen.
Credit card fraud, such as skimming, happens.
Women travelling alone can be harassed and should take care, especially at night.
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. 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.
what activities and care your policy covers
that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
have a basic health check-up
ask if your travel plans may affect your health
plan any vaccinations you need
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
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 medicine for your trip.
Always carry a copy of your prescription and a letter from your doctor saying:
what the medicine is
how much you'll take
that it's for personal use
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 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:
make sure your accommodation is insect-proof
use insect repellent
wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing
consider taking medicine to prevent malaria
Get medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, rash or severe headache.
Waterborne, foodborne, parasitic and other infectious diseases are common. These include:
Serious 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 mostly spread by contaminated drinking water or food. In addition to cholera, other contagious diseases are spreading in the country.
To stay safe:
drink boiled water or bottled water with sealed lids
don't eat ice cubes
avoid raw or undercooked food, such as salads
Get medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
The standard of medical facilities is basic.
The current conflict has made it difficult to access medical services.
You need to pay up-front if you're treated in private health care facilities.
For serious illness, an accident or complex procedures, you may need to be medically evacuated. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
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.
Get professional legal advice if you're involved in local legal matters. This includes family law, divorce, child custody and child support.
Be aware of your rights and responsibilities.
Punishment for possessing, using or trafficking illegal drugs is severe. Penalties include fines, jail or the death penalty.
Same-sex relationships are illegal.
Penalties for acts of sodomy range from jail to death. See LGBTI travellers
The death penalty can also apply for murder and some terrorism crimes.
Some crimes are punishable by lashing. These include drinking alcohol in public, slander and adultery.
It's illegal to take photos of:
other sensitive infrastructure
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 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.
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 will be from late April to late May in 2020. Respect religious and cultural customs and laws at this time.
Avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public or in front of people who are fasting.
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.
Non-Muslims may not go into 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 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 exit through its borders.
Make sure you meet all entry and exit conditions. If you don't, the Australian Government can't help you.
We advise against all travel to Yemen, including the island of Socotra.
If you're trying to leave, check exit requirements with local immigration authorities before you book your ticket.
Contact local airlines for their schedules and how to purchase tickets. Tickets can take weeks to issue. You may be charged administrative fees.
Flights could be delayed or cancelled at short notice. Check with your airline before travelling to the airport.
Women can be subject to strict family controls and may be stopped from leaving the country.
A Yemeni husband may legally stop his wife from leaving the country, regardless of her nationality.
Children under 18 years must have their father's permission to leave the country. It doesn't matter what the status of their parents' 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 just 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.
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:
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 reassess 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, including anti-personnel landmines, are a danger. They can be found in the central highlands, and in the southern and eastern regions, especially around Aden and in Sa’ada province.
Travel 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 hazardous. There is a severe shortage of fuel.
Avoid all road travel outside of the main cities at night.
Get advice from authorities before entering Yemeni waters or ports.
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.
Pirates use motherships to attack shipping further than 1000 nautical miles (1850km) from the coast of Somalia.
All types of vessels are targets for Somali pirates. This includes 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.
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, contact your:
family and friends
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
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.
The ability of the Australian Government to provide consular help to Australians in Yemen is extremely limited.
The Australian Embassy in Saudi Arabia can provide consular advice.
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.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
+61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
1300 555 135 in Australia
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.