Reopening borders for international tourism – updates from our collection in Africa and Latin America

2020-10-08T23:54:24-05:00October 8th, 2020|

Updated October 8th, 2020

Note: This post is updated as of the date above. We endeavor to provide the most succinct and accurate information from our destination partners on all border reopenings. However,  agents and travelers should always check official government statements and consult with local suppliers and airlines on the latest entry requirements.


Tanzania: Tanzania’s borders are open with international flights arriving. Upon arriving in the country, visitors will be required to have their temperature taken, and there will be a range of specific health and safety measures taken on transport and at accommodation to protect against the spread of the Covid-19 virus. More details from Albatros Travel here.

Kenya: Kenya reopened its borders on August 1st and published a list of countries from which visitors are not required to be quarantined, this includes the United States and Canada. As of September 16th, the quarantine requirements for residents of California, Florida and Texas has been lifted! Arriving passengers must present a negative PCR based COVID – 19 test carried out within 96 hours before travel. More details from Albatros Travel here.  September 16th updated list of quarantine exempt   countries including all US states.

Rwanda: Rwanda reopened the Kigali International Airport on August 1st. Arriving passengers must present negative PCR test results from within 120 hours of arrival and will be tested again on arrival followed by quarantine in a local for up to 24 hours while awaiting results. Travelers must also have a negative PCR test taken within 120 hours prior to departure. For almost all CAS travelers, the test on arrival will be valid as most stays are fewer than 5 days. More details from Classic Africa Safaris here. 

Uganda: As of 01 Oct 2020 Uganda resumed international airline arrivals and is accepting foreign visitors from all countries. The Entebbe International Airport has provided these SOPs for arrivals and departures. Arriving passengers must show PCR COVID-19 negative test results issued within 72 hours prior to arriving into Uganda. In addition, departing passengers must show PCR COVID-19 negative test results issued within 72 hours prior to departing from Uganda. More details and all entry/exit requirements from Classic Africa Safaris here. 

South Africa: It was announced on Sept. 16th that South Africa’s borders will open for international visitors on October 1st. On September 30th, a list of “high-risk” countries barred from entry was released and this include the USA, the UK and much of western Europe. Canada is not on the high-risk list and therefore Canadians are currently permitted to enter the country.  The list of high-risk countries is to be reviewed and re-released every two weeks. More details here and a list of high-risk countries here. Travellers will have to present, on arrival, the result of a negative coronavirus test less than 72 hours old. More details here. New Frontiers has a very comprehensive COVID-19 page on the NF Agent Zone with details on which borders in southern Africa are open among other useful resources (member log-in required).

Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe’s government announced on September 3rd the resumption of domestic tourism and all tourism activities. As of Sept. 8th, Zimbabwe has announced that international flights into the Harare and Victoria Falls will resume from 1st October, 2020. All travellers will be required to have a PCR COVID-19 Clearance Certificate issued by a recognized facility within 48 hours from the date of departure. Ethiopian Airlines has announced they will resume flights into VFA from ADD on Oct. 6th. More details on Zimbabwe’s reopening here. 

Namibia: Namibia’s Hosea Kutako International Airport outside Windhoek is open and international flights are arriving. All tourists must have a negative PCR result not older than 72 hours before boarding their flight to Namibia. Tourists must be tested again for Covid-19 on day five of their visit. The tourist must be available for swabbing at the closest medical facility OR make use of Ultimate Safaris’ private testing service at their lodge or camp. Full details on this private “day five” testing service and all requirements for entry to Namibia here.

Ethiopia: Ethiopia is now open for international tourism as of September 23rd. A negative PCT Covid-19 test issues no earlier than 72 hours before arrival is required for entry. More details from Ethiopia Tourism here.

Latin America

Belize: Belize’s international airport, the Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE), will be reopened to international flights on October 1st (previously it was announced the airport would reopen on August 15th but this was postponed). Arriving passengers who provide a certificate of a negative Covid-19 PCR test from within the last 72 hours, will be allowed immediate entry into Belize. Arriving passengers without a negative Covid-19 test, must be tested upon arrival in Belize, at the passenger’s expense. More details from Maya Trails.

Guatemala: Guatemala’s Aurora International Airport reopened on September 18th. Passengers must have a medical certificate with a NEGATIVE PCR (Covid 19) test result issued at most 72 hours before arrival. (this does not apply to children under the age of 10). Facemasks are required and all passengers will pass through thermal heat scanners and must complete a health pass online form before departure.  Several airlines have announced the resumption of flights beginning on September 19th. More details from Maya Trails.

Costa Rica: As of October 1st, the Government of Costa Rica is allowing residents of Canada and the following US states to enter Costa Rica as tourists: Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Virginia (and Washington, D.C.), Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, Wyoming, California and Ohio. But, starting on November 1, residents of all U.S. states will be allowed entry to Costa Rica! In addition to a negative RT-PCR diagnostic test for Covid-19 taken within 72 hours of travel to Costa Rica, there are other requirements for entry. The latest details from Costa Rica Sun Tours here.

Ecuador: All arriving guests must present proof of a negative PCR test result from within 10 days of their arrival (previously it was 7 days). After providing the negative test results, travelers can begin their journeys throughout Ecuador’s mainland without further ado. Effective Sept. 16th, the process to enter the Galapagos has been streamlined and passengers arriving in Ecuador can use proof of a negative PCR test administered within 96 hours (4 days) of arrival for transit to the Galapagos Islands – no local test or quarantine required.  More details from Tropic Ecuador here.

Baja California Sur, Mexico: There are no entry requirements for travelers arriving at Los Cabos International airport, though travelers will be asked to fill out a questionnaire about recent travel and exposure for safety. More details on TOSEA’s safety protocols for Covid-19 here. 


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Tad Bradley

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