Welcome to Africa: A country-by-country guide to reopening

Feb 24, 2021

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information. It was originally published in July of 2020. 

 

Here at TPG, we’ve been doing a lot of dreaming of our next trips and when we can realistically book them. Africa is at the top of our wish list. And several countries in Africa have reopened to tourism.

This guide summarizes each country’s current status for international travel.

In This Post

Algeria

Fort Santa Cruz in Oran, Algeria. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
Fort Santa Cruz in Oran, Algeria. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

COVID-19 test required: Yes

Other restrictions: All arriving travelers are required to self-quarantine at a hotel for 14 days and undergo a medical screening.

What’s open: Most businesses are open, but some regions, including Algiers, are subject to a curfew.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Algeria, some domestic flights resumed in December of 2020, but international air and sea borders for non-cargo travel remain closed. U.S. citizens are permitted to enter, but the embassy says entry may be restricted to individuals with dual citizenship or special permission. A visa is also required.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Algeria is Level 4: Do Not Travel.

A curfew is in effect from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. in 34 provinces. Restaurants are open for take-out and delivery only and are subject to a 7 p.m. closure.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases and deaths in Algeria.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Algeria must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

Angola

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 72 hours before departure
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: A second test upon arrival and quarantine are also required.

What’s open: Most business and many attractions, but some are operating with limited hours and restricted capacity. Public transport is operating at limited capacity, but beaches and pools are closed for recreational use through at least March 11, 2021.

Limited international flights to and from Angola have resumed (although flights from South Africa, Australia, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Portugal are suspended). According to the U.S. Embassy in Angola, all arriving passengers must take a test to enter the country and then quarantine at home (or in a government quarantine site) until taking a third COVID-19 test after seven days and being cleared by Angola authorities.

Non-compliance with quarantine or mask requirements can result in fines or criminal charges.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Angola is Level 3: Reconsider Travel. The U.S. Embassy also reports that “International travelers arriving in Luanda with a tourist visa are advised that immigration authorities will hold their passport from their arrival in Angola until their departure from the country.”

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Angola must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases and deaths in Angola.

Botswana

Visit Botswana's unique Okavango Delta for some of the world's best safari experiences.
Visit Botswana’s unique Okavango Delta for some of the world’s best safari experiences. (Photo by Getty Images)

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 72 hours before departure
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: Health screening upon entry; a negative test is also required to exit the country.

What’s open: Some businesses, many safari lodges and Chobe National Park; some transportation within Botswana is limited.

Botswana is one of Africa’s more southern tourist locations and is known as a top safari destination. Americans are allowed to visit (and a visa is not required), although the U.S. State Department’s advisory for Botswana is Level 4: Do not Travel.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Botswana, limited commercial flights to Botswana are available through South Africa and Ethiopia and some charter flights to Kasane and Maun may be available (check with tour companies operating in Botswana). Also be aware that the U.S. banned travel from South Africa (for non-U.S. citizens or permanent residents) on Jan. 30.

Arriving travelers must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel to Botswana, but are not required to quarantine. All passengers must also present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their departure from Botswana. This parallels a Jan. 26, U.S. requirement that everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Botswana must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

Gaborone has an 8 p.m. curfew in place through Feb. 28. Permits are required to travel between any of the country’s nine zones and are restricted to essential travel. Tourism is considered essential, but additional COVID-19 testing may be required to travel between zones. There are fines for non-compliance of Botswana’ mask mandate and other restrictions.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Botswana.

Benin

COVID-19 test required: Yes, upon arrival and before departing Benin

Other restrictions: Travelers are encouraged to self-isolate for 14 days.

What’s open: Businesses and public transportation are operating normally; there’s no curfew.

Benin is welcoming international travelers via Cotonou Cadjehoun Airport, which is operating at close to pre-pandemic levels, according to the U.S. Embassy in Benin. To enter the country travelers will need to apply for an eVisa and upon arrival undergo both a COVID-19 rapid test and a PCR test for a pre-booked fee of 50,000 CFA ($92); testing is also required prior to departure. A positive rapid test upon arrival will result in quarantine until receiving a negative PCR result. Anyone staying longer than 15 days must also undergo a third test. If all testing is negative, no quarantine is required.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Benin must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Benin is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Benin.

Burkina Faso 

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 120 hours before departure
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: Face masks are required throughout the country.

What’s open: Most businesses, services and public transportation

The airports in Ouagadougou and Bobo returned to normal operations on Aug. 1, 2020, and according to the U.S. Embassy in Burkina Faso, Americans are allowed to visit. The U.S. State Department, however, has issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory for the country due to terrorism, crime and kidnapping.

All travelers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival in Ouagadougou, dated within 120 hours (five days) of arrival and it can be in English or French. Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) or antibody tests are currently not accepted. Quarantining is not required with a negative test result.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Burkina Faso must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Burkina Faso.

Burundi

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 72 hours before departure
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: Quarantine is required

What’s open: All businesses and services; Burundi never had a lockdown.

Burundi has weathered the COVID-19 pandemic well, according to the U.S. Embassy in Burundi, and Americans are allowed to enter the country, but only via Melchior Ndadaye International Airport, which re-opened on Nov. 8, 2020. All arriving passengers must have a pre-arranged reservation at a government-approved quarantine hotel and will be tested upon arrival (at a cost of $100) before being transferred to their reserved accommodation for a strict seven-day quarantine with testing on day six; a negative test is required for release.

There is no mask mandate, but wearing one is encouraged.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Burundi must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Burundi is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Burundi.

Cameroon

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 72 hours before departure to Cameroon (and also prior to exiting Cameroon)
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: None

What’s open: Most businesses and public transportation

Cameroon’s borders remain officially closed, according to the U.S. Embassy in Cameroon, although the government has given permission to airlines to resume limited flights and U.S. citizens with a valid Cameroonian visa or permanent residency card are permitted to enter the country. All travelers are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or serology) taken within 72 hours of departure for Cameroon. A negative test result (taken within 72 hours) from a designated lab in Cameroon is also required for for exit.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Cameroon must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

Cameroon has no curfew, quarantine or restrictions on travel within the country—although travel to certain regions is not advised due to crime, kidnapping, terrorism and armed conflict. Mask wearing is mandatory on all public transportation with a fine of about $11 for non-compliance.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Cameroon is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Cameroon.

Cape Verde

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 72 hours before departure
• PCR test or rapid Antigen required

Other restrictions: Inter-island travel restrictions are in place.

What’s open: Most business, public transportation and tourist sites; some islands may have reduced opening hours and capacity restrictions.

International flights to Cape Verde, a group of 10 islands located off of Africa, resumed on Oct. 12, 2020, and according to the U.S. Embassy in Cape Verde, Americans are allowed to visit. All travelers age seven and older must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR or rapid Antigen test taken within 72 hours of travel. A health questionnaire must be completed and authorities will conduct a health screening upon arrival.

There is currently no curfew, but inter-island travel restrictions are in place. Islands with a COVID-19 infection rate below 20 per 100,000 inhabitants are considered “green” and passengers from those islands do not need COVID-19 tests for inter-island travel. As of Jan. 19, tests are not required for inter-island travel from São Nicolãu, Sal, Boa Vista and Brava or for passengers under the age of seven. Passengers traveling from Santiago, Fogo, Maio, São Vicente or Santo Antão to any of the “green” islands must show a negative COVID-19 rapid test result taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure.

Face masks are required in public spaces, including side walks, and violators are subject to fines of about $165.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Cape Verde must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Cape Verde is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Cape Verde.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

The statue of Congolese national hero Patrice Emery Lumumba in Kinshasa. (Photo by Arsene MPIANA / AFP) (Photo by ARSENE MPIANA/AFP via Getty Images)
The statue of Congolese national hero Patrice Emery Lumumba in Kinshasa. (Photo by Arsene MPIANA / AFP) (Photo by ARSENE MPIANA/AFP via Getty Images)

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 72 hours before departure
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: Additional testing is required upon arrival, with a self-quarantine (typically 24 hours) until getting the result, and before departure; proof of yellow fever vaccination is also mandatory.

What’s open: Most businesses and public transportation

The Democratic Republic of Congo reopened its borders in August. It is perhaps best known for Virunga National Park and for being home to the mountain gorilla. Unfortunately, Virunga National Park is not yet open for for tourism, but is expected to open by spring. Important to know: Conflict is ongoing in the DRC and six park rangers were ambushed and killed by militia inside the park in January. In February, the Italian ambassador to DRC was killed along with two others in an ambush.

According to the U.S. Embassy in the Democratic Republic of Congo, all arriving international travelers age 11 and older must arrive with proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days (72 hours) of their departure to DRC. Upon arrival, travelers age 11 and older must take a second COVID-19 test at the airport. Travelers should register their information and pay for the test at INRBCOVID.com before they begin their travel. The cost of the required test is US$45. After testing at the airport, arriving passengers must self-quarantine until they receive a negative test result, usually within 24 hours.

Americans also need a visa to visit as well as a World Health Organization (WHO) card with proof of yellow fever vaccination.

To exit the DRC, all travelers age 11 and older must pay for and present a negative COVID-19 test from an approved lab taken within 72 hours of travel. This parallels a Jan. 26 requirement by the U.S. government that everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from the Democratic Republic of Congo must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights.

The DRC has a nationwide curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. and testing is required for travel between some provinces.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for the Democratic Republic of Congo is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in the DRC.

Côte d’Ivoire

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 120 hours (5 days) before departure
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: All travelers must fill out an Air Travel Declaration Form and pay fees online.

What’s open: Most business (restaurants, bars, shops) and public transportation

Côte d’Ivoire is under a Health State of Emergency, with a recommendation of non-essential movement and increased protective health measures, through Feb. 28, according to the U.S. Embassy in Côte d’Ivoire. International air travel resumed with limited service as of July 1, 2020, but land and maritime borders remain closed.

Travelers who wish to visit Côte d’Ivoire must present a COVID-19 PCR test result (in this case, taken no more than 120 hours before travel) and fill out a travel declaration form.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Côte d’Ivoire must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

Face masks and social distancing are required when traveling through any public area and there are capacity limitations for venues.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Côte d’Ivoire is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Côte d’Ivoire.

Djibouti

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 72 hours before departure (and up to 120 hours before arrival)
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: Both an eVisa obtained in advance of travel and a second saliva-based COVID-19 test upon arrival are required.

What’s open: Most businesses (restaurants, shops) and some, but not all, public transportation

The East African nation of Djibouti started to reopen its economy in early May 2020 and began allowing air travelers last fall. In addition to pre-travel testing required for boarding any flight to the country, the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti reports that travelers arriving at Ambouli International Airport will also be screened using a minimally invasive saliva test (cost $30); a positive result will require the traveler to quarantine at their hotel or seek treatment in a local hospital.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Djibouti must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Djibouti is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Djibouti.

Equatorial Guinea 

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 48 hours before departure
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: Health screenings and rapid testing and quarantine upon arrival; PCR tests are required for internal flights and inter-district travel.

What’s open: Most businesses (restaurants, shops) and public transportation; beaches and nightclubs remain closed as of February.

In mid-June, Equatorial Guinea began to loosen the restrictions present in the country. Limited international flights have resumed, but travelers must present proof of residency, employment or business purpose of the visit. Travelers from the United Kingdom are currently not permitted.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Equatorial Guinea, all arriving travelers also must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 48 hours of travel, submit to a rapid test upon arrival and then quarantine for five days (both at the traveler’s expense), with a test for release taken after day five.

Travelers are also advised that all internal flights and inter-district transport within Equatorial Guinea require authorization and a negative COVID-19 PCR test. There is also a nationwide curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Equatorial Guinea must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Equatorial Guinea is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Equatorial Guinea.

Egypt

The Great Pyramids at Giza. (Photo via Getty Images)
The Great Pyramids at Giza. (Photo via Getty Images)

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 72 hours before departure
• 96 hours before departure for passengers from Japan, China, Thailand, North America, South America, Canada, London Heathrow, Paris and Frankfurt (due to transit times)
• PCR test required; physical (original paper certificate) test results are the only kind accepted

Other restrictions: A visa is also required (Americans can get theirs prior to travel via online enrollment or upon arrival);

What’s open: Most hotels, shops, restaurants and some tourist sites; the Great Pyramids of Giza reopened in July 2020.

International tourism resumed in Egypt on July 1, 2020, although tourism at sites such as Luxor has reportedly been quite slow. The Great Pyramids of Giza, for instance, reopened on July 1, 2020 after being closed since March and undergoing a deep cleaning, reported Reuters.

COVID-19 PCR tests are required for all international arrivals age six and older. All U.S. citizens need a tourist visa (available via online enrollment) and proof of health insurance to enter the country, according to the U.S. Embassy in Egypt. Check with the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, D.C. for more details.

Additional information is available on the Egyptair website, which also notes that international passengers traveling directly to Sharm el Sheikh, Taba, Hurghada or Marsa Alam airports who failed to submit a valid PCR test (72 or 96 hours before flight departure time depending on their country of origin), will undergo the PCR test upon arrival at a charge of $30. Passengers will then be isolated in their hotels until the PCR test result is received. Should the PCR test be positive, the passenger will need to self-isolate in his/her room at the hotel and coordinate with the Egyptian Ministry of Health.

As of Jan. 3, anyone not following mask requirements may be subject to fines or prosecution. Restaurants have also been ordered to operate at 50% capacity.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Egypt must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Egypt is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Egypt.

Eritrea

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 72 hours before departure
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: All arrivals are subject to a seven-day quarantine in a designated quarantine hotel with a negative PCR test required for release.

What’s open: Essential businesses (for example, grocery stores) only; restaurants and public transportation remain closed.

As of early 2021, there were still no commercial flights into Eritrea, according to the U.S. Embassy in Eritrea, and charter flights must be approved by the Eritrean government. The embassy also reports that essential businesses are only open until 8 p.m. and all other businesses are closed. Public transportation has not resumed operation and any movement within the country requires prior authorization.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Eritrea must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Eritrea is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Eritrea.

Eswatini

COVID-19 test required: Yes

Other restrictions: Curfew, road blocks

What’s open: Only essential businesses and public transportation

The only businesses open in the country are considered essential, such as grocery stores and health clinics, and according to the U.S. Embassy in Eswatini, there is a curfew of 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. The embassy also reports that there is one daily flight from Johannesburg to KMIII International Airport in Eswatini and public transportation is operating. Masks are required on all transportation and there are roadblocks between cities, where temperatures are checked.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Eswatini must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Eswatini is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Eswatini.

Ethiopia

Portrait of an afar tribe girl with water jerricans, Afar Region, Afambo, Ethiopia on November 1, 2018 in Afambo, Ethiopia. (Photo by Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us/Corbis via Getty Images)
Portrait of an afar tribe girl with water jerricans, Afar Region, Afambo, Ethiopia on November 1, 2018 in Afambo, Ethiopia. (Photo by Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us/Corbis via Getty Images)

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 120 hours (5 days) before departure
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: Health check upon arrival and mandatory seven-day self-quarantine

What’s open: Most business and public transportation, with capacity limits

Commercial flights have resumed to Ethiopia and every international traveler over the age of 10 is required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 120 hours (5 days) of travel, according to the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia. Upon arrival, passengers will undergo a health check, register with authorities and self-quarantine at home or in a hotel for seven days. Anyone showing symptoms will be taken to a government-run isolation center.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Ethiopia must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Ethiopia is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Ethiopia.

Gabon

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 120 hours (5 days) before arrival
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: All arriving passengers must pay for and take a second COVID-19 PCR test and quarantine until receiving the results; a negative test taken within 14 days is required for any travel between cities and provinces.

What’s open: Hotels, restaurants and most businesses—all at reduced capacity

In July 2020, many pandemic measures were lifted in Gabon, but according to the U.S. Embassy in Gabon, restrictions were reimposed and land borders were closed in late January after cases began to rise.

Restaurants and hotels are open, but with capacity limits. Social distancing and masks are mandated at all times.There is a curfew in effect in the capital Libreville from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Travelers are being permitted into Gabon by air (there are flights several times per week), but not by land or sea.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Gabon must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Gabon is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Gabon.

Ghana

The Independence Square of Accra, Ghana, inscribed with the words "Freedom and Justice, AD 1957", commemorates the independence of Ghana, a first for Sub Saharan Africa. It contains monuments to Ghana's independence struggle, including the Independence Arch, Black Star Square, and the Liberation Day Monument.
The Independence Square of Accra, Ghana, inscribed with the words “Freedom and Justice, AD 1957,” commemorates the independence of Ghana, a first for Sub Saharan Africa. (Photo by Getty Images)

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 72 hours before departure
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: Second COVID-19 test conducted upon arrival

What’s open: Essential businesses, restaurants and public transportation, with social distancing measures in place; all entertainment venues, beaches and sports facilities remain closed.

Ghana’s Accra Kotoka International Airport reopened for regular international service on Sept. 1, although the country’s land and sea borders remain closed. According to the U.S. Embassy in Ghana, all passengers arriving by air must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test conducted by an accredited laboratory in the country of origin not more than 72 hours prior to departure.

In addition, upon arrival, each traveler age five and older must undergo a COVID-19 test conducted at the airport. There is a $150 fee per person. Travelers can pay the fee online before departure or pay upon arrival at the airport in Accra. Ghana’s Ministry of Public Health has mandated the use of face masks in public.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Ghana must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Ghana is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Ghana.

Guinea

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 72 hours before arrival
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: All travelers to Guinea must have three masks with them; testing from a specific lab is required for departure.

What’s open: Most businesses, including restaurants and bars, with social distancing measures in place.

Gbessia International Airport in Conakry is open and most airlines have resumed their flight schedules, although land borders remain closed and the country’s state of emergency was extended through February, according to the U.S. Embassy in Guinea. Masks must be worn in all public places and there is currently an overnight curfew.

Anyone who wishes to travel into the country must provide a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival. They must also carry three masks when entering. If flying into Guinea without a negative PCR test result, travelers will be tested upon arrival and quarantined until results are received. If they receive a positive result, they must quarantine for 14 days have have two negative tests before they are released.

Guinea also requires that all departing travelers be tested by a specific lab, the National Public Health Institute (Agence Nationale de la Sécurité Sanitaire, or ANSS) lab, with the test taken within 72 hours of departure. This parallels a new U.S. requirement as of Jan. 26 that everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Guinea must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Guinea is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Guinea.

Kenya

(Image by Byelikova_Oksana/Getty Images)
(Image by Byelikova_Oksana/Getty Images)

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 96 hours before travel
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: All arrivals require a visa and face a health screening; departing passengers must also obtain a negative test result before their flight if their destination country requires it.

What’s open: Hotels, safari lodges, game reserves, restaurants (with closure at 9 p.m.), most businesses and public transportation

Kenya re-opened to tourism on Aug. 1, 2020. At the time, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the country had reached enough preparedness to lessen restrictions, but precautions should still be taken, Reuters reported at the time.

Under the reopening plan, travel in and out of Nairobi is allowed. All visitors need to obtain an e-visa, fill out an online health form (and obtain a QR code for scanning) and present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of travel, according to the U.S. Embassy in Kenya. They’ll also face a health screening on arrival. The embassy reports that Kenya is also planning to implement policies  that all departing travelers whose destination requires a test must visit an authorized laboratory in the Trusted Traveler initiative and obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test before they will be allowed to board departing flights. And as of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Kenya must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

A mandatory face mask requirement while in public remains in effect along with a nightly curfew starting at 10 p.m. through at least March 12.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Kenya is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Kenya.

Liberia

COVID-19 test required: Yes, upon arrival (at traveler’s expense).

Other restrictions: Travelers who test negative upon arrival should self-quarantine for seven days and monitor symptoms for 14 days; those who test positive will undergo treatment.

What’s open: Most businesses and public transportation, with social distancing and capacity limiting in place.

International flights to Liberia resumed on June 28 under new guidelines for social distancing and capacity designed to diminish the spread of COVID-19. According to the U.S. Embassy in Liberia, all arriving passengers will be tested at the airport, per the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Testing Protocol for Travelers. Travelers who test negative upon arrival should self-quarantine for seven days and monitor symptoms for 14 days; those who test positive will undergo treatment based on Liberia’s case management guidelines.

Travelers departing Liberia need to arrive to the airport four hours early. And as of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Liberia must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Liberia is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Liberia.

Madagascar

Avenue of the Baobabs near Morondava, Madagascar
Avenue of the Baobabs near Morondava, Madagascar

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 72 hours before departure (and again upon arrival)
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: Arriving passengers face health screenings and testing and must quarantine in a hotel until receiving a negative result; travel from countries with high COVID-19 case counts is suspended.

What’s open: Most businesses and public transportation as well as hotels and some tourism sites, such as national parks and museums, with capacity restrictions.

Madagascar extended its state of Emergency in October. According to the U.S. Embassy in Madagascar, all international flights are limited to the airport in Nosy Be and passengers from certain nations with high COVID-19 case counts, including the United States, are banned from entry. Mask wearing is mandatory in public places, but there is currently no curfew. To make sure all rules are followed, Madagascar is imposing consequences, including 24-hour arrest, for failure to wear masks.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Madagascar must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Madagascar is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Madagascar.

Mauritius

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 5 to 7 days before departure
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: All travelers must pre-purchase a travel package, quarantine in-room for 14 days upon arrival and undergo multiple COVID-19 PCR tests; anyone who has visited certain countries within 14 days is banned through at least Feb. 28.

What’s open: Most businesses, with social distancing and capacity restrictions as outlined by the government, and public transportation.

The island nation was under lockdown until June 15, 2020, when the restrictions were fully lifted.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Mauritius, as of Oct. 1 Americans are allowed to visit but only long-stay arrivals who purchase a travel package will be approved with a mandatory 14-day quarantine in-room at an establishment recognized by the authorities. Travelers must also undergo multiple COVID-19 PCR tests. Any traveler who has visited The United Kingdom, South Africa, Japan or Brazil within the past 14 days will be denied entry to Mauritius through at least Feb. 28. Mask mandates remain in effect throughout the island.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Mauritius must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

The U.S State Department’s advisory for Mauritius is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Mauritius.

Related: Planning a dream trip to Mauritius

Morocco

The Hassan II Mosque largest mosque in Morocco. Shot after sunset at blue hour in Casablanca.
The Hassan II Mosque largest mosque in Morocco. (Photo by Getty Images)

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 72 hours before departure
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: Test results must be presented in printed form; confirmed reservations with a hotel or travel agency or invitation from a Moroccan company to do business are also required.

What’s open: Some hotels, restaurants and shops (with a daily curfew); restaurants and cafes are closed in major cities through early March.

Morocco recently extended its strict state of emergency until March 10 and also has suspended flights from the United Kingdom. According to the U.S. Embassy in Morocco, Americans are among citizens of several dozen countries currently allowed to enter the country without a visa, but all travelers age of 11 and older must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure and present it in printed form at airport check-in and upon arrival in Morocco. Commercial flights are limited and masks are mandatory in flight and in all public spaces.

According to the U.S. Embassy, travelers are limited to those who have confirmed reservations with a Moroccan hotel or travel agency or an invitation from a Moroccan company for business purposes. Be aware that domestic travel within Morocco requires a travel authorization letter from local officials. Apparently, a hotel reservation can be all the documentation you may need.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Morocco must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

The government of Morocco also announced additional measures designed to curb the spread of COVID-19. There is a nationwide curfew between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. through March 2; a daily closing of cafes, restaurants, shops and grocery stores at 8 p.m.; a closure of all restaurants and cafes in Marrakech, Casablanca, Tangier and Agadir; and a ban on all public and private gatherings and parties.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Morocco is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Morocco.

Related: A first-timer’s travel guide to Morocco

Mozambique

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 72 hours before departure
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: Visas or resident permits are required for entry.

What’s open: Most businesses, shops and restaurants are open, subject to early closures; public transportation is running.

Limited international flights are available to Mozambique, where enhanced mitigation measures were put into place in early February for at least 30 days. Arriving travelers age 12 and older are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure. There is health screening upon arrival, but quarantine isn’t required with a negative test result.

According to the U.S Embassy in Mozambique, “For travelers arriving for tourism purposes only, visas are available upon arrival with proof of a return ticket and hotel booking. Please be aware that U.S. citizens have been denied entry for not having obtained the proper type of visa in advance. Obtaining your visa in advance from the Mozambican Embassy in Washington, DC is strongly encouraged.” Non-Mozambiqan business travelers must seek authorization to enter the country from he Ministry of the Interior, according to the U.S. Embassy.

Public transportation is running and face masks are required. In the Greater Maputo area (Maputo, Matola, Marracuene, and Boane), a curfew is in place from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Mozambique must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Mozambique is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Mozambique.

Namibia

(Photo courtesy of Tongabezi Lodge)
(Photo courtesy of Tongabezi Lodge)

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 7 days before arrival
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: All travelers must complete a health questionnaire; even travelers with proof of vaccination must provide a negative test result.

What’s open: Most businesses (hotels, safari lodges and camps, restaurants, shops); public transportation is running.

Namibia has been open for international tourism since Sept. 1, 2020, although most of its land borders are currently closed.

Tourists, including Americans, are allowed to fly to Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH), and according to the U.S. Embassy in Namibia, they must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 7 days of arrival and fill out a health questionnaire. Even travelers who have proof of vaccination must provide a negative test result. Those whose test result is more than 7 days old will need to undergo a day-of-arrival quarantine until getting a negative result on a second test before being allowed to move freely in the country. Children under the age of five are exempt.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Namibia must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

There is a nationwide curfew in Namibia from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Namibia is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Namibia.

Niger

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 72 hours before arrival (and another test 72 hours before departure)
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: 7-day self-quarantine for travelers staying more than 14 days

What’s open: Restaurants, markets, stores and public transportation; bars, nightclubs, and performance venues have been closed since Dec. 24.

The government of Niger’s state of emergency has continued into 2021, according to the U.S. Embassy in Niger. Travelers arriving into the country must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test dated within 72 hours of arrival and undergo a heath screening. Travelers who plan to stay in Niger for more than 14 days must also provide precise home/accommodation information and self-quarantine for seven days before getting tested again (free) at a specified COVID-19 testing facility.

The U.S. Embassy also reports that travelers departing Niger by air must provide a negative COVID-19 test dated within 72 hours of departure. This parallels a new U.S. requirement as of Jan. 26 that requires everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Niger to show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights.

Social distancing rules are in effect in Niger and it is mandatory to wear a face mask in public spaces in Niamy.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Niger is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Niger.

Nigeria

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 96 hours before departure
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: Self-isolate for 7 days and pay for a second test

What’s open: Most businesses and public transportation (at 50% capacity)

Nigeria reopened its airports on July 8, 2020 after months of closure. Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri and Maiduguri airports all reopened for domestic flights in July, and international flights resumed in August.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, arriving international passengers over the age of 10 must have proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours (four days) of departure. A Quarantine Protocol issued in September requires all international visitors to register via the Nigeria International Travel Portal, upload test results prior to travel, and then self-isolate and pay for another test seven days after arrival in Nigeria and continue self-isolating until receiving a negative result (typically in 24-48 hours) .

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Nigeria must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

Travelers from the United Kingdom and South Africa have been subject to additional protocols since Dec. 28, 2020.

The country recently saw a surge in COVID-19 cases in December and January, when restrictions were increased. There is currently a curfew in place from 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. Mask wearing is inconsistent and the government’s national identification registration policy has recently created crowds and chaos, according to reporting by CNN.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Nigeria is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Nigeria.

Rwanda

Overlooking Lake Bulera in Volcanoes National Park. Photo credit: Volcanoes Safaris.
Overlooking Lake Bulera in Volcanoes National Park. (Photo courtesy of Volcanoes Safaris)

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 72 hours before departure
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: Testing upon arrival and 24-hour quarantine with another test before release; testing is again required for departure.

What’s open: Most businesses, hotels and public transportation, as well as all three national parks, including Volcanoes National Park; restaurants are open with restricted hours and capacity.

Related: Why Rwanda should be on your travel list

Rwanda had been doing a relatively good job controlling the coronavirus outbreak since reopening to commercial flights on Aug. 1, 2020, although cases have spiked in recent weeks and the U.S. State Department has updated its advisory for the country to Level 3: Reconsider Travel. The city of Kigali was under lockdown until Feb. 22 and face masks are required nationwide when in public spaces. There is also a curfew from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda, all arriving passengers are required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form and upload a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours (three days) of departure for Rwanda. All travelers are also subject to testing upon arrival (at a cost of $60) and spend 24 hours in a designated transit hotel; some travelers (but not business travelers or tourists headed to national parks) may need to undergo a seven-night quarantine.

Related: You can’t visit Europe, but how about Rwanda?

VisitRwanda’s reopening guidance says, “For passengers entering Rwanda, a second PCR test will be conducted upon arrival, with results delivered within 24 hours, during which time they will remain in designated hotels at their own cost.” Some travelers then must continue quarantining at the designated hotel or at home for seven days until receiving a text message to appear for a final test. Business travelers who plan to be in Rwanda for less than seven days and international tourists scheduled to visit national parks are not required to undergo the seven-day quarantine.

Travelers departing Rwanda must also test negative within 120 hours (five days) of their flight. They are encouraged to book and pay for their tests at least two days prior to their return flight. As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Rwanda must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights.

Rwanda is offering visas on arrival as well for all nationalities. There are a number of additional planning resources available at VisitRwanda.com. All three major national parks in the country are open but visitors will have to test negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours of visiting. You can even book a trip to see the endangered mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Rwanda.

São Tomé and Príncipe

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 72 hours before departure
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: Anyone traveling between the islands of São Tomé and Principe must submit to a COVID-19 rapid test within 24 hours of departure.

What’s open: Most businesses; markets have restricted hours.

São Tomé and Príncipe, and island nation located off the coast of western Africa in the Gulf of Guinea, released a three-phase plan for reopening the country beginning in June 2020. Currently travelers are welcome, but there are social distancing restrictions in place and people are encouraged to remain at home for all but essential business.

According to the U.S. Embassy (which overseas Gabon as well as São Tomé and Principe), all arriving passengers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure. Any arriving passenger displaying symptoms (temperature above 38 degrees Celsius/100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) must undergo a rapid test. The embassy also reports that there is a curfew in place in Principe but not in São Tomé.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from São Tomé and Príncipe must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for São Tomé and Príncipe is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in São Tomé and Príncipe.

Senegal

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 120 hours (5 days) before arrival
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: Passenger Locator form required and health screening upon entry

What’s open: Hotels, most businesses and public transportation; restaurants, casinos and beaches are open with social distancing measures in place.

International flights have resumed to Senegal, but most land and sea borders remain closed. According to the U.S. Embassy in Senegal, Americans are welcome to visit and must follow entry protocols. The embassy notes, however, that it has received reports from some Americans who report difficulty booking travel to Senegal because of current restrictions.

Senegal requires a negative COVID-19 test taken with five days (120 hours) of arrival and only from the country where you started your trip. The West African country also requires all arrivals to submit a ‘Public Health Passenger Locator’ form. Arriving passengers face health screenings.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Senegal must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

Hotels are open, as are restaurants and casinos with social distancing measures in place. There is now a mandatory 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily curfew in the Dakar and Thies regions and a mandatory mask order remains in effect countrywide.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Senegal is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Senegal.

Sierra Leone

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 7 days before travel (and again 72 hours before departure from Sierra Leone)
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: Travel authorization and testing upon arrival is also required.

What’s open: Most businesses and public transportation, but restaurants and bars are closed on weekends.

Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in Africa. During the pandemic, conditions have only worsened. Land and sea borders remain closed, but commercial flights resumed on July 22.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Sierra Leone, all travelers must obtain authorization from the Sierra Leone government prior to travel, present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within seven days of travel, have their temperature taken, and submit to two tests upon arrival (one rapid and one PCT at a cost of $80). If the rapid test is positive, the traveler will be held in quarantine until the PCR tests are received 24-72 hours later. During this time, their passports will be held by authorities.

A negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours is also required to depart Sierra Leone at a cost of $50. This parallels with a new U.S. requirement as of Jan. 26 that everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Sierra Leone must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights.

A curfew remains in place from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and inter-district travel restrictions are in place. Public transportation is running with capacity restrictions. Masks and social distancing are required in public spaces.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Sierra Leone is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Sierra Leone.

Seychelles

(Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy)

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 72 or 48 hours before travel, depending on country of origin
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: Travelers from approved countries must submit test results; those from Category 2 countries must also quarantine for 10 days while awaiting a second test result.

What’s open: Essential businesses and hotels, but tourists must remain in the same hotel for at least 10 days; restaurants and bars outside of hotels are closed.

The Seychelles has gone to extremes to protect itself from coronavirus. TPG cruise reporter Gene Sloan wrote about the small island nation off the coast of Africa banning cruise ships until 2022.

Commercial flights resumed in July and Seychelles is currently open to visitors from 48 countries—but Americans are not on the approved list (although those who are fully vaccinated can now visit). The country also recently announced that it may open to all countries sometime in March, dependent on its own vaccination campaign.

Approved countries have been divided into Category 1 countries and Category 2 countries. Tourists from Category 1 countries are required to be tested for COVID-19 (polymerase chain reaction test) within 72 hours before they arrive and submit their results along with a Travel Authorization form, while those from Category 2 countries must present a negative test taken within 48 hours prior to travel and upon arrival isolate in a designated establishment for 10 nights, with a second PCR test performed on the sixth day, and travelers required to remain in quarantine for the entire 10 days. For details check here.

The Seychelles also just announced that it is now allowing visitors from all countries (including the U.S.) who have proof of having completed COVID-19 vaccinations. All vaccinated travelers will still be required to take a PCR test within 72 hours of their flight and present a negative test result. Consideration will also be given to travelers from non-approved countries who have not been fully vaccinated, but will be arriving by private jet; these travelers must stay solely at certain approved properties or super-yachts.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from the Seychelles must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

Inter-island travel is discouraged, there is an 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew through at least Feb. 28 and visitors will be charged $50 to support local public health measures.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for the Seychelles, as shown on the U.S. Embassy website, is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in the Seychelles.

South Africa

Beautiful sunset and landscape of Cape Town from Table Mountain lookout, this is the​ best sight in the city of Cape Town in South Africa, you can see everything in a clear day.This is a dramatic landscape of the area, we see some clouds and colorful sky, the sunlight is about to set and is casting some wonderful colors the city looks amazing.
A sunset and landscape from Table Mountain lookout. (Photo by Getty Images)

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 72 hours before departure
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: Without the proper test, travelers must quarantine for 14 days.

What’s open: Most businesses (with limited hours and capacity restrictions); many hotels, safari lodges and game reserves and national parks are open.

In December, both South Africa and the United Kingdom, began reporting troubling new COVID-19 variants, which resulted in widespread suspension of flights and travel to and from both the U.K. and South Africa. The U.S. government on Jan. 26 then banned travel from South Africa, with the exceptions of U.S. citizens and legal U.S. residents (travel from the U.K. and Brazil, where another COVID-19 variant has emerged, had already been banned).

South Africa has now entered a dangerous second wave and has surpassed 1.5 million COVID-19 cases, forcing a return to a Level 3 lockdown alert on Dec. 29 that mandated mask wearing at all times when in public (with possible imprisonment for violations), prohibited alcohol sales and imposed a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.

South Africa re-opened to tourism on Oct. 1, and according to the U.S. Embassy, as of Nov. 11, U.S. citizens can enter South Africa for tourism purposes, but they need to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours from the time of departure, or they must remain in mandatory quarantine for 14 days at their own cost.

All arriving travelers will face a health screening. If a passenger has a negative test result, they will not have to quarantine. Those who don’t bring tests will need to quarantine for two weeks at their own expense. Travelers must also download the South Africa coronavirus mobile tracing app, and fill in all the information on that app.

As of Jan. 26, any U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from South Africa must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for South Africa remains at Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in South Africa.

Sudan

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 96 hours before departure (72 hours for travelers who originate from or transit in the United Kingdom, South Africa and the Netherlands)
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: Travelers who originate from or transit in the United Kingdom, South Africa and the Netherlands must also complete a 14-day self-quarantine.

What’s open: Most businesses and public transportation

International travel to Sudan resumed on July 13, 2020 to Khartoum International Airport. According to the U.S. Embassy in Sudan, all passengers age seven and older, except those noted below, must possess a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate dated within 96 hours of arrival. Temperature checks and other health screening may be conducted upon arrival.

The Sudanese Civil Aviation Authority is currently requiring passengers who originate from or transit through the United Kingdom, South Africa, and the Netherlands to have a PCR test dated within 72 hours of arrival. These passengers are also subject to a mandatory 14-day home quarantine.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Sudan must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Sudan is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Sudan.

Tanzania

(Photo by Oscar Xu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Oscar Xu/Getty Images)

COVID-19 test required: No, unless departing country or airline requires it for travel

Other restrictions: None

What’s open: Most businesses, hotels, safari lodges and camps, and national park.

Tanzania, whose president John Magufuli had until just recently denied widespread COVID-19 transmission (the government had not been reporting cases), is currently accepting tourists with no testing or quarantine conditions attached. The U.S. Embassy in Tanzania is reporting that it has seen an increase in the number of cases reported to it since January and that the use of masks, social distancing and other prevention strategies are largely absent throughout the country.

Tanzania was among the first African nations to reopen to tourism. Currently, all travelers need to fill out a Health Surveillance Form while on the plane, but incoming travelers only need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival if their country of departure or airline requires it for travel. If their country does not require testing to fly, travelers with any signs of infection will undergo enhanced screening upon arrival and may be tested.

Many tourists are required to have a visa. See details here.

The government is asking passengers to complete a Health Surveillance Form upon arrival, and according to the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania, all arriving travelers should expect enhanced health screening and if they are showing symptoms COVID-19 rapid testing at the airport. Mask wearing and social distancing are also still in place for anyone planning a visit. Readers have confirmed that they have had no issues flying into the country.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Tanzania must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

Tanzania has received a lot of criticism on how it has handled the coronavirus pandemic. The government hasn’t actively revealed data about infection rates or death. President Magufuli had said that releasing the data was “causing panic” and at the start of the pandemic declined to close churches, saying that the virus “cannot survive in the body of Christ — it will burn.” He also claimed Tanzania was free of coronavirus as of June due to prayer and the work of front-line workers. He even celebrated citizens who weren’t wearing masks as a sign that people were no longer afraid and the virus was gone.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Tanzania is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Uganda

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 120 hours before departure (and 120 hours before departure from Uganda, 72 hours for those traveling to the United States)
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: Health screening and temperature check upon arrival

What’s open: Many businesses and restaurants; casinos with restricted hours; and all national parks.

Americans can currently travel to Uganda, known as one of the top destinations for gorilla trekking. The country’s national parks reopened to tourists in October 2020.

According to the U.S. Embassy, arriving passengers must have a negative PCR COVID-19 test from an accredited laboratory in the country of origin taken not more than 120 hours before departure for Uganda. Passengers will be subjected to temperature and health screening upon arrival at Entebbe Airport, but are not required to quarantine. However, any arriving passengers who exhibit signs or symptoms of an infectious disease will be transported to an isolation center for a COVID-19 test where they must remain, at their own cost, until the results of the test are received. Travelers who test positive will be taken to a Ministry of Health facility for treatment, or given the option to be repatriated (for foreigners), at their own cost.

The U.S. Embassy also notes that that Government of Uganda also now requires that all departing passengers present a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken not more than 120 hours before departure. This requirement is mandatory for all departing passengers out of Uganda even if the destination country does not require it. But the U.S. now does: As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Uganda must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights.

Uganda had eased some of its lockdown restrictions, allowing some businesses like hardware shops, restaurants and wholesale stores to reopen. There is a nightly 9 p.m. curfew and masks are required in public.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Uganda is Level 3: Reconsider Travel due to COVID-19 and the risk of kidnapping.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Uganda.

Zambia

Victoria Falls. (Photo by prasit_chansareekorn / Getty Images)
Victoria Falls. (Photo by prasit_chansareekorn / Getty Images)

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 7 days before departure (although some airlines require one within 72 hours)
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: Health screening and temperature check upon arrival

What’s open: Most businesses, hotels, safari lodges and camps, restaurants, national parks and tourist sites

Zambia, home to Victoria Falls and known as a top safari destination, is open to international travelers, including Americans. However, according to the U.S. Embassy in Zambia, a second wave of cases is currently infecting the country, with Lusaka one of the hot spots, and the CDC has issued a Level 4: Very High Level of COVID warning for the country.

Zambia now requires a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within seven days of arrival, although many airlines require one within 72 hours of travel. Tourists also need a visa (apply online for a e-visa here). There are no quarantine requirements right now, but there are reports of some health screenings and symptomatic individuals may be required to submit to testing and/or quarantine.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Zambia must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Zambia is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Zambia.

Zimbabwe

COVID-19 test required: Yes

• 48 hours before departure
• PCR test required

Other restrictions: Quarantine in a government holding facility for anyone arriving with the required test, until receiving a negative test result; there are currently restrictions on inter-city and inter-provincial travel.

What’s open: Only essential businesses from 8am-3pm; restaurants and bars are closed unless serving hotel guests; public transportation is running.

Zimbabwe reopened its borders to international flights on Oct. 1. In a statement, the government said, “All travelers will be required to have a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) COVID-19 clearance certificate issued by a recognized facility within 48 hours from the date of departure.”

Quarantine is no longer required for tourists if a negative test is presented. Those who arrive without the required test must get tested upon arrival and quarantine in a government holding facility until getting a negative result.

U.S. citizens can travel to Zimbabwe, according to the U.S. Embassy. However, as cases surged, a nationwide lockdown with a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew was put into place on Jan. 5 and extended through at least Feb. 28. Amid the January surge, four officials in the Zimbabwe government died of COVID-19.

As of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from Zimbabwe must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.

The U.S. State Department’s advisory for Zimbabwe is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Check the Johns Hopkins University website for updates on cases in Zimbabwe.

Additional reporting by Jordyn Fields and Donna Heiderstadt.

Featured image by Getty Images

The All-New United Quest℠ Card

WELCOME OFFER: Up to 100,000 bonus miles

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,040

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X miles on United® purchases

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80K bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 20K bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months
  • $250 Annual Fee
  • Earn 3X miles on United® purchases, 2X miles at restaurants, on select streaming services & all other travel, 1X on all other purchases
  • Earn 3X miles on United Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2X miles at restaurants and on select streaming services
  • Earn 2X miles on all other travel
  • Earn 1X mile on all other purchases
  • Each year, receive a $125 credit on United® purchases and two 5k-mile anniversary award flight credits. Terms apply.
Regular APR
16.49% to 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent, Good

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Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.