COVID-19 African Country Travel Restrictions: East Africa

COVID-19 African Country Travel Restrictions East Africa

A vast and highly diverse continent filled with dramatic landscapes, remarkable scenery, extraordinary cultures, exceptional fauna and flora and an endless variety of magnificent destinations to explore, Africa offers some of the most incredible travel experiences in the world. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and various regulations and restrictions imposed on travel and tourism, many keen travellers and adventurers are wondering when they’ll finally be able to visit these bucket-list worthy travel destination once again.

We’ve put together a guide of all the latest updates regarding when some of your favourite African destinations are expected to re-open to international travellers, as well as border statuses, and what you can expect regarding the various COVID-19 travel restrictions and protocols of each country.

**Important note: It is important to consider that each African country has their own set of COVID-19 travel protocols in place. Some of these protocols are also subject to change as circumstances evolve.

For those who are thinking of travelling to Africa, here is everything you need to know about some of the safest COVID-19 African destinations to best plan your next thrilling African adventure.

**Disclaimer: This article was last updated on 17 September 2020 and is thus subject to change.

EAST AFRICA

The various East African countries include Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Madagascar, Mauritius and the Seychelles – All of these incredible African destinations deserve a prime spot on your post-COVID travel bucket-list.

KENYA

COVID-19 African Country Travel Restrictions East Africa - Kenya

**Note: *Kenya is an approved and recognised user of the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safety Stamp.*

On the 6th of July 2020 it was announced by the Kenyan government that local air travel would resume operations from 15 July 2020 and that international travel will resume from 1 August 2020. In addition, Kenya’s Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife implemented a reduction in park entry fees from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021. Thereby encouraging more nature and wildlife lovers to explore the untamed beauty and vast diversity of wildlife the Kenyan wilderness has to offer.

When is Kenya expected to re-open for international travel?

Kenya’s borders are open to international travellers.

Who is allowed to visit?

Kenya has not placed any specific restrictions on any countries.

What health/screening procedures have been put in place?

The following health screening and quarantine protocols have been put in place:

  • All passengers arriving on international flights are required to quarantine for 14 days at a government-designated facility or at their Kenyan residence. These countries are exempt from mandatory quarantine.
  • All passengers on international flights must show a negative COVID-19 certificate on arrival, obtained no later than 96 hours prior to departure from their home country.
  • Body temperatures must test below 37.5°C (99.5°F) and visitors must have no persistent cough, no difficulty breathing, and no other flu-like symptoms (visitors should not display any symptoms linked to CIVID-19).
  • If there is a reported case of COVID-19 on a flight or if the above symptoms are detected, all passengers within two rows of the passenger with the symptoms will be quarantined for testing. If the test results are negative, they will be allowed to leave the facility.
  • It is mandatory for all passengers arriving in Kenya to complete the Travelers Health Surveillance Form by the Ministry of Health. The form is found here and must be completed online prior to disembarkation. Passengers will receive a QR code after completing the form and will be required to display it to a Port Health Official to proceed through immigration.
  • Strict infection prevention and control measures have to be followed: social distancing, good hand hygiene, and the wearing of masks remain mandatory.

Airlines flying into Kenya:

  • Kenyan Airways will resume international flights from 1 August 2020. The airline’s COVID-19 certificate validity for all inbound flights to Kenya is 96 hours. For outbound flights from Kenya, a COVID-19 certificate is not required unless your country of transit or destination requires one.
  • All passengers aboard any Emirates flight require a negative COVID-19 certificate, obtained no later than 96 hours prior to flight departure.

RWANADA

COVID-19 African Country Travel Restrictions East Africa - Rwanda

**Note: Rwanda is an approved and recognised user of the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safety Stamp.*

Various tourism activities resumed across the country from 17 June 2020. Rwanda’s airports reopened for scheduled commercial flights on 1 August 2020, welcoming international travellers into their country.

When is Rwanda expected to re-open for international travel?

Rwanda is open for international travel.

Who is allowed to visit?

All international travellers and tourists will be allowed to visit Rwanda’s destinations and attractions after testing negative for COVID-19 in two consecutive tests.

What health/screening procedures have been put in place?

The following health screening and quarantine protocols have been put in place:

  • All travellers arriving in Rwanda must have a negative COVID-19 certificate. The only accepted test is a SARS-CoV 2 Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), performed within 120 hours of departure for Rwanda. Other tests such as Rapid Diagnostics Tests (RDT) are not accepted.
  • Prior to arrival, all travellers must complete the Passenger Locator Form and upload their COVID-19 test certificate via www.rbc.gov.rw/travel.
  • All travellers arriving in Rwanda will be screened upon entry and take a second RT-PCR test to confirm the negative results of the test done prior to arrival. You will be required to wait about 24 hours for these test results in a designated transit hotel. The Government of Rwanda has negotiated special rates at designated transit hotels for the 24-hour waiting period.
  • All travellers departing from Rwanda must test negative for COVID-19, with the RT-PCR test performed within 120 hours before departure. The Rwanda Development Board has advised that as long as travellers depart within 120 hours of their RT-PCR test on arrival, they do not require another test.
  • Preventive measures must be followed while travelling in Rwanda: physical distancing where possible; the wearing of masks is mandatory; and temperature screenings before entering certain buildings are mandatory.

Airlines flying into Rwanda:

  • Charter flights (individual and groups)
  • Commercial airlines from 1 August 2020
  • RwandAir, starting between Dubai and selective African routes, from 1 August 2020.

TANZANIA

COVID-19 African Country Travel Restrictions East Africa - Tanzania

**Note: *Tanzania is an approved and recognised user of the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safety Stamp.*

On the 18th of May 2020, the Tanzanian government announced that they will be lifting the ban on international flights arriving and departing from the country. In order for hotels and tourist facilities to operate, they must go through a COVID-19 certification process, and official documents must be placed at the entrances of all facilities. To further enhance their attempts to curb the spread of COVID-19 within the country, the Tanzanian government directed all the country’s tourism entities to appoint and adequately train COVID-19 liaison officers to be the point of contact with its Health Ministry.

When is Tanzania expected to re-open for international travel?

Tanzania is open for international travel.

Who is allowed to visit?

Tanzania has not placed any specific restrictions on any countries.

What health/screening procedures have been put in place?

The following health screening and quarantine protocols have been put in place:

  • If you are travelling with an airline that requires a negative COVID-19 certificate, or if your country of origin requires a negative COVID-19 certificate upon departure, then Tanzania will also request the certificate on arrival. All other travellers do not require a negative COVID-19 certificate, although it is recommended that all travellers have the certificate as a precautionary measure.
  • Arriving passengers showing any symptoms or signs of COVID-19 will be required to undergo enhanced health screening and may be tested for COVID-19.
  • While in Tanzania, visitors will be expected to adhere to full protective measures against the spread of COVID-19.

Airlines flying into Tanzania:

  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Qatar Airways
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Air Tanzania could resume operations to other countries that have re-opened for international travel, or for passengers looking to fly with the airline – to be confirmed.

UGANDA

COVID-19 African Country Travel Restrictions East Africa - Uganda

Uganda has released a tentative phased reopening schedule for the resumption of international passenger flights to Entebbe International Airport. This phased reopening schedule is said to come into effect from 1 October 2020.

When is Uganda expected to re-open for international travel?

1 October 2020 – to be confirmed

What health/screening procedures have been put in place?

No health/screening protocols or procedures have yet been stipulated or outlined for international visitors.

Airlines expected to fly into Uganda:

  • Turkish Airlines
  • Qatar Airways
  • Emirates
  • Kenya Airways
  • Ethiopian Airlines

MALAWI

COVID-19 African Country Travel Restrictions East Africa - Malawi

As it currently stands, Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe is open for international commercial and charter flights.

When is Malawi expected to re-open for international travel?

Malawi is open for international travel.

Who is allowed to visit?

Malawi has not placed any specific restrictions on any countries.

What health/screening procedures have been put in place?

The following health screening and quarantine protocols have been put in place:

  • All arriving passengers are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result, conducted within 10 days before departure for Malawi.
  • All passengers are required to complete a health declaration form and undergo basic screening.
  • All arriving passengers are required to self-isolate at the address they declare on arrival for a period of 14 days.
  • Only passengers and airport staff will be allowed to enter the terminals and are required to wear face masks and maintain social distancing at all times.
  • All departing passengers are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result, conducted within 10 days before departure from Malawi.

Airlines flying into Malawi:

  • Kenya Airways
  • Ethiopian Airlines

MADAGASCAR

COVID-19 African Country Travel Restrictions East Africa - Madagascar

The Malagasy government announced that the island of Nosy Be will reopen for international travel on 1 October 2020. Fascene Airport on Nosy Be is ready to welcome back international visitors, with all the required COVID-19 health, hygiene and safety protocols and regulations in place. Domestic travel within Madagascar resumed in September 2020, with international travel expected to resume when Ivato International Airport in Antananarivo reopens for international visitors.

When is Madagascar expected to re-open for international travel?

1 October 2020 – only the island of Nosy Be

What health/screening procedures have been put in place?

The following health screening and quarantine protocols have been put in place:

  • All passengers are required to undertake a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in Nosy Be.
  • All arriving passengers are required to present a return air ticket and are not permitted to travel outside of Nosy Be. 

MAURITIUS

COVID-19 African Country Travel Restrictions East Africa - Mauritius

**Note: **Mauritius is an approved and recognised user of the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safety Stamp.*

As it currently the stands, the suspension on international commercial flights will remain in place until 31 October 2020. This will be followed by a proposed phased reopening of borders for international travel.

When is Mauritius expected to re-open for international travel?

1 November 2020 – to be confirmed.

What health/screening procedures have been put in place?

No health/screening protocols or procedures have yet been stipulated for international visitors.

SEYCHELLES

COVID-19 African Country Travel Restrictions East Africa - Seychelles

From 1 June 2020, the Seychelles gradually started reopening its borders to visitors from low-risk countries travelling via private jets and direct chartered flights. After the successful implementation and execution of this first phase, the Seychelles reopened for commercial flights from 1 August 2020.

It is vital that visitors only book accommodation at licensed establishments or liveaboards that have been certified by the Seychelles Public Health Authority. The list of certified establishments is available here. All booking vouchers reflecting the entire duration of your stay in the Seychelles must be presented at Immigration for verification.

When is the Seychelles expected to re-open for international travel?

The Seychelles is open for international travel.

Who is allowed to visit?

The following countries are allowed to travel to the Seychelles:

  • Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, UAE, and UK.
  • The list of permitted countries is revised periodically and available on www.tourism.gov.sc.

What health/screening procedures have been put in place?

The following health screening and quarantine protocols have been put in place:

  • All visitors from permitted countries must have a negative COVID-19 PCR certificate from an accredited laboratory, obtained within 72 hours before departure.
  • Visitors must submit their negative PCR test results, flight, and accommodation details before departure for the Seychelles. The submission form is available here. Completed forms should be submitted via email to [email protected]
  • All visitors will undergo temperature checks and health screening. Any visitor with fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough, runny nose or shortness of breath will be isolated from other travellers and subjected to further assessment. Additionally, visitors may be required to undertake a COVID-19 test upon disembarkation.

Airlines flying into the Seychelles:

  • Private jets and direct chartered flights from the above countries.
  • Commercial flights from the above countries from 1 August 2020.