Log in


Africa's Omicron Response

Since omicron first reared its head in South Africa, potential travelers from there have been outright banned or subject to stringent testing and quarantine policies. Now, as far as the total number of Covid-19 infections go, omicron is quickly becoming the “dominant” strain in a lot of countries.

This has resulted in travel restrictions and Covid policies that are in an almost fluid state and subject to change from one week to the next. At this point, a lot of international destinations have rolled back the additional rules for travelers from South Africa but the variant is spreading rather rapidly across the continent and we may see more travel bans in the near future.

So, what is South Africa and the country as a whole doing to curb the pandemic?

As you’ll see, there are national mandates but individual countries have implemented additional travel restrictions as well. Including closing their boarders completely to foreigners.

If you’re planning to visit anywhere in Africa anytime soon, you need to know exactly what you can expect and what’s expected of you. Especially considering the fact that with 54 countries, what’s required and recommended in one could be drastically different from their neighbor’s.

International Arrival Requirements

International travelers are restricted to flying into Cape Town, Durban, or Johannesburg between the hours of 4 am to 11 pm as there is a curfew between those times.

In addition to normal visa, eTA, and immigration policies, a screening form must be completed within 48 hours of your trip and presented upon arrival. Additionally, you need a signed, paper copy of a negative PCR test taken within the past 72 hours. If you don’t have a negative PCR test, you’ll have to take an antigen test and if you test positive, you’ll be quarantined for 10 days at your own expense.

Since you may be required to leave a copy at different stages of your trip, you definitely need to take several copies with you. 

In addition to these rules, if you’re planning on traveling domestically to any of the various countries in Africa, you may be subject to additional requirements.

Just as an example, check out a few of the mandates you’ll have to adhere to when traveling to Africa.

Algeria

Travelers over 12 arriving on a direct flight must have a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result printed in Arabic, English, or French that was issued within 36 hours before departure. Those arriving via indirect flights must present a negative test result issued within 72 hours before initial departure. 

Masks must be worn in public places with violations possibly resulting in fines.

Angola

You’ll have to take a rapid COVID-19 test immediately on disembarking the plane. Those that are negative are subject to a 10-day quarantine and if you test positive, you’ll have to immediately go into a mandatory quarantine at a government facility for observation and further testing. 

Benin

Must complete an online health form and undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing at your own expense ( testing for children under 5 is free). If you test positive, you’ll have to quarantine in an allocated hotel at your own expense, and to ensure your compliance, you’ll be guarded by defense and security forces.

Botswana

All travelers to Botswana must undergo an antigen test for COVID-19 upon arrival. For domestic travelers, you’ll also have to undergo an antigen test at your departure airport prior to boarding the plane.

If you’ve visited India, you’re required to undergo a 10-day quarantine at a location designated by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. You’ll also have to take a PCR test between 5 and 7 days following your arrival.

Burkina

It’s mandatory to wear a face mask and you must present a negative test dated no more than 5 days prior to departure. The biggest thing to note however is that you’ll have to quarantine for 14 days at a location of your choice and at your own cost.

Burundi

Must take a PCR test upon arrival.

Cabo Verde

If you’re traveling between islands, you’ll need to complete an online health surveillance form and upon arrival, your temperature will be taken. if it’s high, it’ll be measured again in a specified area of the airport and if it remains high, you may be required to undergo a COVID-19 test.

Cameroon

This country has closed all its land, sea, and air borders and has only partly reopened to nationals, residents, diplomats, and professionals.

Central African Republic (CAR)

It is compulsory to wear face masks in public places and some incoming travelers will be required to take a (COVID-19) test on arrival. Prior to departure to CAR, some air companies and airports require a negative COVID-19 test. And anyone traveling from a location with local transmission of COVID-19 is subject to a mandatory 14-day self-isolation.

Nigeria

You must present a “permit to travel” that you receive online via the Nigeria International Travel Portal. To obtain this, you must use the portal to upload required travel documents, complete an online declaration, upload a copy of a negative PCR COVID-19 test, and schedule PCR tests that are required on days 2 and 7 after arrival.

You’re also required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test that was completed no more than 48 hours before your arrival. That means that if you arrived in Africa more than 2 days before your entry into Nigeria, you’ll need to be tested again.

You could also be aware that Nigeria is currently advising against non-essential travel to certain states and travel at all to others due to Covid outbreaks. Be sure to check official sites for advisories.

As you can see, in addition to the nationwide Covid rules, each country may require you to provide a variety of additional testing or undergo a mandatory quarantine. If you’re planning on visiting multiple countries in Africa, in addition to ensuring that your passport, visa, eTA, and other travel condiments are up to date and valid, you need to make sure that you’re aware of any individual country Covid mandates that you may be subject to.

Follow Us

Canvas