• Mike Sutherland

The African Borders are Opening

Updated: Nov 11

As the world begins to open her borders and travel starts to become a reality in the coming weeks and months, it is important for us to relay the most accurate information to our guests.


We have detailed the travel criteria, dates of reopening, screening protocols and the potential operational airlines that are relevant for each country we operate in regularly. If you are planning to travel to any one of these countries in the near future, below is a snapshot of the information that is currently available.


The below information is accurate at the time of writing (11 November 2020) and we will endeavour to update this as frequently as possible to ensure the information is accurate and in line with all relevant government press releases.


Botswana


Botswana has started a phased reopening of international borders from 9 November 2020. Air travel will resume at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Gaborone, Maun and Kasane International Airports.


Date of Reopening:

  • 09 November 2020

Countries able to visit:

  • Currently unknown.

Health Screening and Quarantine protocols:

  • Present a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test result, conducted within 72 hours of departure for Botswana.

  • Undergo health screening for COVID-19 symptoms.

  • Any visitor showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be required to undergo a PCR test, and possible isolation and/or quarantine for 14 days.

Flights:

  • Airlink

  • Private Charter Flights

  • Air Botswana

Republic of Congo


The Republic of the Congo has reopened its borders and airports for international visitors.


Date of Reopening:

  • 24 August 2020 - Borders are currently open (air borders only)

Countries able to visit:

  • Currently unknown.

Health Screening and Quarantine protocols:

  • All visitors are required to complete a negative COVID-19 test within a maximum of seven days prior to arrival and submit the test results within two days of departure for Congo.

  • All arriving passengers will be required to undergo body temperature scans and may be requested to take another COVID-19 test.

Flights:

  • Yet to be confirmed.

Kenya


The Kenyan government announced in July that local air travel will resume operations from 15 July 2020 and that international travel will resume from 1 August 2020.

Date of Reopening:

  • 1 August 2020 - borders are currently open.

Countries able to visit:

Health Screening and Quarantine protocols:

  • All passengers arriving on international flights are required to quarantine for 14 days at a government-designated facility or at their Kenyan residence.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Flights:

  • 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 an Emirates flight require a negative COVID-19 certificate, obtained no later than 96 hours prior to the flight's departure.

Namibia


The Namibian government has announced new implementation protocols that will guide the country's international tourism revival initiative. These protocols will come into effect from 1 September 2020, which will signal the reopening of Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek to international visitors. Entry to Namibia will only be allowed via this airport.


Date of Reopening:

  • 1 September 2020 - Gradual reopening of borders.

Countries able to visit:

  • All countries.

Health Screening and Quarantine protocols:

  • All passengers arriving on international flights must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, conducted within 72 hours of boarding the plane.

  • All arriving travellers must submit their full itinerary on arrival.

  • All visitors must be available for a swab test on day five (5) of their trip. You must then be reachable/contactable on day seven (7) to receive the results of the swabbing. If the result is negative, you may proceed with the rest of your itinerary. If the result is positive, you will be treated at isolation facilities authorised by the Ministry of Health and Social Services at their cost, and according to national case management guidelines.

Flights:

  • Ethiopian Airlines

  • Air Namibia

  • Lufthansa from 19 September 2020

  • Eurowings from 20 September 2020

  • Qatar Airways from 1 October 2020

Rwanda


Tourism activities across Rwanda resumed from 17 June 2020 and Rwanda's airports reopened for scheduled commercial flights on 1 August 2020.


Date of Reopening:

  • 17 June 2020 - borders are currently open.

Countries able to visit:

  • All countries will be able to visit after testing negative for COVID-19 in two consecutive tests.

Health Screening and Quarantine protocols:

  • 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.

  • All travellers must complete the Passenger Locator Form prior to their arrival 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.

Flights:

  • Private Charter flights (individual and groups)

  • Commercial airlines from 1 August 2020

  • RwandAir, starting between Dubai and selective African routes, from 1 August 2020.

Seychelles


There has been a gradual reopening of the borders of Seychelles since 1 June 2020. This process was for visitors from low-risk countries travelling via private charter flights. After successfully implementing this first phase, Seychelles reopened for commercial flights from 1 August 2020.


NB: Visitors must ensure that accommodation bookings are made only at licensed establishments or liveaboards that have been certified by the Seychelles Public Health Authority. The list of certified establishments is available on www.tourism.gov.sc. All booking vouchers reflecting the entire duration of stay in Seychelles must be presented at Immigration for verification.


Date of Reopening:

  • 1 August 2020 - borders are currently open.

Countries able to visit:

  • Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, UAE, Vietnam and the UK.

  • The list of permitted countries is revised periodically and available here.

Health Screening and Quarantine protocols:

  • 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 Seychelles. The submission form is available here. Completed forms should be submitted via email to visitor@health.gov.sc.

  • 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.

Flights:

  • Private jets and direct chartered flights from the above countries.

  • Commercial flights from the above countries from 1 August 2020.

South Africa


The South African government announced on 16 September 2020 that the country's borders will reopen for tourism on 1 October 2020. Initially, there will be limited travel to and from certain countries that are deemed high-risk. A list of these countries is yet to be released. Only one land border post and three international airports – OR Tambo, King Shaka and Cape Town – will reopen to international travellers.


Date of Reopening:

  • 1 October 2020

Countries able to visit:

  • All countries from the African continent are allowed.

  • For countries out of Africa - travellers may enter South Africa from countries with low infection and transmission rates.

  • See the updated list of countries allowed to enter South Africa here.

  • Leisure Travellers from high-risk countries will not be permitted. (The exception will be business travellers with scarce and critical skills including diplomats, repatriated persons, investors and people participating in professional sporting and cultural events will undergo the same health protocol screenings.)

  • If the passport of the traveller from a high-risk country indicates that he/she has spent 10 days or more in a low-risk country before departure, he/she will be considered to be arriving from a low-risk country.

Health Screening and Quarantine protocols:

  • Travellers must present a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) COVID-19 test on arrival, that is not older than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin to South Africa.

  • This test must be conducted by a certified medical practitioner and should have the name and signature of the practitioner who conducted such a test.

  • Travellers arriving without a negative COVID-19 test certificate will be required to quarantine at their own cost.

  • Upon arrival in the port of entry, the traveller will be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms or for contact with people who have been infected with the COVID-19 virus. 

  • Travellers will also need to provide proof of accommodation address should they need to self-quarantine at the time of arrival in the country.

  • South Africa requires guests to have mandatory Travel Insurance prior to entering the country.

Flights:

  • Three airports will be opened and operational for international air travel.

  • Cape Town International Airport

  • OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg)

  • King Shaka International Airport (Durban)

  • Information yet to be released.

Tanzania


The Tanzanian government announced on 18 May 2020 that it will lift the ban on international flights arriving and departing from the country. All hotels and other tourist facilities in the country had to go through a COVID-19 certification process. 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.


Date of Reopening:

  • 1 June 2020 - borders are currently open.

Countries able to visit:

  • All countries.

Health Screening and Quarantine protocols:

  • As of 1 August, 2020 Tanzania updated their entry requirements and is now requiring a 72-hour negative PCR test to enter the country.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Flights:

  • 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


The Ugandan government has released a tentative phased reopening schedule for the resumption of international passenger flights to Entebbe International Airport, effective 1 October 2020.


Date of Reopening:

  • 1 October 2020 – to be confirmed

Countries able to visit:

  • Information yet to be released.

Health Screening and Quarantine protocols:

  • Yet to be confirmed.

Flights:

  • Turkish Airlines

  • Qatar Airways

  • Emirates

  • Kenya Airways

  • Ethiopian Airlines

Zambia


Zambia is currently open to foreign nationals and the country is issuing visitor visas upon entry into the country. Limited domestic flight schedules are operating twice-weekly between Kenneth Kaunda International Airport and Mfuwe International Airport, and between Kenneth Kaunda and Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport in Livingstone.


Date of Reopening:

  • 27 June 2020 - borders are currently open.

Countries able to visit:

  • All countries.

Health Screening and Quarantine protocols:

  • All arriving passengers must have a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test that has been conducted within 14 days of arriving in Zambia.

  • All international visitors will be screened on arrival and any tourist that is showing symptoms or has a temperature over 38c will be re-tested at the airport.

  • Fill out the Health Questionnaire provided by the airline before disembarkation.

  • Visitors will be expected to adhere to COVID-19 regulations like physical distancing, wearing face masks, and personal hygiene. They will also need to monitor themselves daily for 10 days for symptoms of the virus and report any occurrence to the nearest health facility.

Flights:

  • Ethiopian Airlines

  • RwandAir

  • Kenya Airways

  • Emirates is set to start flying to Zambia from 1 September 2020.

  • Proflight Zambia is operating limited domestic flights.

Zimbabwe


The Zimbabwean government has recently announced the reopening of the country's local tourism sector on 3 September 2020. Domestic flights will resume well in advance of 1 October 2020 (the date for Zimbabwe's international airports to reopen). Land borders remain closed until further notice.


Date of Reopening:

  • 1 October 2020

Countries able to visit:

  • Information yet to be released.

Health Screening and Quarantine protocols:

  • All travellers will be required to present a PCR COVID-19 clearance certificate issued by a recognised facility within 48 hours of departure for Zimbabwe.

  • All travellers will undergo health screening and temperature testing.

  • Social distancing, hand sanitisation and the wearing of masks are mandatory.

Flights:

  • Emirates

**Please note: The information in this blog is correct at the time of publication. Information will be updated accordingly as it is made public by each government across the continent.**

121 views

©EscapeSafariCo