Africa Travel Bans

UPDATED 26th MARCH 2020

Currently the spread of the Coronavirus has had unprecedented global impacts resulting in countries closing borders, implementing travel bans and quarantines directly affecting worldwide travel.

You may be thinking, how does this affect my travel plans in Africa?

While the impact of the virus is varied based on age and medical resources, we believe it is the responsibility of individuals to respect the restrictions imposed in order to ensure a speedy end to this virus and curb its ability to further spread.

 

What African countries currently have Travel Bans?

 

Covid-19 Travel Restriction in Africa BBC Research

 

South Africa Travel Bans:

South Africa took measures to implement travel bans which take effect on 18th March 2020. Travellers from countries listed as below will have visas revoked:

  • Italy
  • Iran
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Germany
  • US
  • UK
  • China
  • France
  • Switzerland

In addition, all travellers who have visited the countries listed above within the last 20 days will also be denied a visa.

Travellers from Medium-risk countries such as Portugal, Hong Kong and Singapore will face strict screening measures at border entries.

South African Airways also announced on 20 March that it would suspend all domestic and international flights until 31 May 2020.

South Africa will go into full lockdown on 27th March restricting movement throughout the country and in turn, restricting the spread of the virus.

Kenya Travel Bans:

Kenya announced on 15th March that they would suspend entry of all travellers from countries that have reported Covid-19 cases for the next 30 days.

Madagascar Travel Bans:

From 20 March, Madagascar will halt all commercial passenger flights to and from Europe for 30 days.

Uganda Travel Bans:

Uganda has also put measures in place such as travellers from 16 high risk countries will be quarantined for 14 days at the traveller’s expense.

Affected travellers will be those travelling from:

  1. Italy
  2. Iran
  3. South Korea
  4. France
  5. China
  6. Germany
  7. Span
  8. San Marino
  9. Belgium
  10. USA
  11. UK
  12. Netherlands
  13. Sweden
  14. Norway
  15. Australia
  16. Malaysia

From 22 March all passenger planes in and out of Uganda will be suspended.

Morocco Travel Bans:

As of 15 March, Morocco has suspended all flights to and from 25 countries including; Algeria, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Austria, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, Chad, Denmark, Egypt, Jordan, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Norway, Oman, Senegal, Switzerland, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE and Spain. All travellers arriving in Morocco will need to complete a health questionnaire and will be screened and temperatures tested.

This international travel ban has now been extended to include suspension of ALL international flights in and out of Morocco until further notice.

Namibia Travel Bans:

Namibia took a decision on 15 March to suspend all inbound and outbound flights from Qatar, Ethiopia and Germany for the next 30 days.

On the 17th March the government of Namibia declared a state of emergency which entails that issuance of visas on arrival at Hosea Kutako International Airport is suspended immediately.

In addition, the following foreign nationals will be banned from entry by air or sea for the next 30 days:

  • Schengen states
  • China
  • Iran
  • Korea
  • United Kingdom
  • USA
  • Japan

South Africa borders with Namibia will remain open on land and air to serve as points of exit for travelers.

As of 24 March, Namibia will ban entry for ALL countries for a period of 30 days. A partial lockdown of the Khomas region is also in effect (including the capital Windhoek and the port town of Walvis Bay).

Zimbabwe Travel Bans:

Zimbabwe declared a national disaster on 17 March, although no confirmed cases have been recorded as yet. Placing a limit on sporting fixtures and other events for the next 30 days. All points of entry remain open at this stage however this will be reviewed regularly.

However on 24 March the Zimbabwean president announced that all borders will be closed except for returning residents.

Malawi Travel Bans:

On 16 March the Malawi Ministry of Health  advised that travelers from the following countries will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days:

  • China
  • Italy
  • Iran
  • Korea
  • Germany
  • France
  • Spain
  • USA
  • Switzerland
  • Denmark
  • Sweden
  • UK
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Belgium
  • Austria
  • Japan
  • Finland
  • Greece

Botswana Travel Bans:

On 16 March the Government of Botswana issued a travel ban for the following countries which will take an immediate effect and will result in cancellation of current visas and issuing of new visas at ports:

  • China
  • Japan
  • south Korea
  • Iran
  • USA
  • UK
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • India

International Travel Bans:

Also check your own countries travel advisory as most countries worldwide have called for citizens to avoid non-essential travel. More information can be found on the nytimes.com travel restrictions page which is updated frequently.

 

What African countries have infections?

 

Above is the current map as presented by World Health Organisation of the recorded cases worldwide.

 

What African countries don’t have infections?

Currently there are still some countries in Africa without recorded Covid-19 cases, these are listed as below:

  • Botswana
  • Malawi

 

Is Africa currently a low risk travel destination?

Yes.

Travel in Africa is considered to be low risk as you are less likely to spend time in overcrowded cities and more likely to be outdoors in wide open spaces which means you have less chance of direct contact with the virus. It’s also thought by medical professionals that the virus is not resistant to fevers, this combined with the warm climate of Africa reduces the severity and likelihood of infection.

While on an overland tour in Africa, you will travel with limited people and thus the exposure is even lower. Some tours have a max of 30 people per vehicle while small group tours have a max of 12 – 16 travellers. We even have some tours with a maximum of 7 travellers per vehicle.

All airports are also proactively screening travellers on arrival which lowers the risk of further contamination.

However you ability to travel is now limited by travel restrictions which are in place worldwide and will impact your ability to travel to or within Africa for the next 30 days. The respective governments are reviewing travel restrictions daily and we will keep you updated on this page as to these changes.

 

What should you do if you decide to continue with your travels?

Check your health and travel insurance to see if you are covered when abroad in case the situation arises that you need medical care or should be placed in quarantine on arrival at your destination.

Monitor the World Health Organization’s site and your own country’s travel advisory.

Also check your itinerary to see if any border closures have been put in place. If you are travelling from an infected city, you may be faced with a travel ban and this will directly affect your ability to enter a port or continue onto your destination.

 

What happens if I can’t leave my country?

We recommend you move your tour to a later date in 2020 or to 2021. Some trips are subject to a nominal moving fee, whereas most are currently wavering this fee. Check with your travel consultant to see what the operators updated policy is.

 

What happens if my tour is cancelled by the operator?

In this instance you will be notified as soon as possible by your travel consultant and you will be given the option to move your tour or hold credit for your monies payed – as per the operators policy at that time.

 

I want to cancel my trip, what now?

You are fully entitled to take this decision on consideration of the travel advice of your country or the one you intent to travel to. In this instance, you will need to contact your travel insurance to determine if you are covered for cancellation.

 

Can I postpone my trip?

Yes, you will have the option to move your departure date subject to the operators change policy. Please contact your consultant for more details in this instance.

We are here to help, so please contact your consultant for any questions if you are unsure.

 

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