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

2021-04-29T11:52:04-05:00April 6th, 2021|

Updated April 7, 2021

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, travel advisors and travelers should always check official government statements and consult with local suppliers and airlines on the latest entry requirements.


US COVID TEST REQUIREMENTS AS OF JAN. 26, 2021

Beginning January 26, US-bound travelers must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hrs before their flight to the U.S. departs. This requirement extends to all passengers including US citizens. Airlines must confirm negative test results or documentation of recovery for each passenger before they board. If not provided or if one chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding. Our partners have been helping travelers from around the globe navigate their countries’ testing requirements for months and have well-established procedures in place – click here for more info.

Africa

Tanzania:

Kenya:

Rwanda:

  • Arrival testing requirements: Arriving passengers must present negative PCR test results from within 72 hours of arrival.
  • Arrival procedures: Passengers will be tested on arrival followed by quarantine in a local hotel for up to 24 hours while awaiting results.
  • Departure testing requirements: As of January 26th, all US-bound pax must present a negative Covid test to return to the USA. More details here.
  • All international tourists visiting national parks are required to schedule their visit within 72 hours of receiving a negative test result. 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:

  • Arrival testing requirements: Arriving passengers must show PCR COVID-19 negative test results issued within 120 hours before boarding the first flight of their journey to Uganda.
  • Departure testing requirements: As of January 26th, all US-bound pax must present a negative Covid test to return to the USA. More details here.
  • More details and all entry/exit requirements from Classic Africa Safaris here. The Entebbe International Airport has provided these SOPs for arrivals and departures.
  • NOTE: KLM Airlines is requiring rapid antigen testing for all passengers boarding flights to the Netherlands (and onward destinations) from Entebbe International Airport (EBB). Testing is available at a clinic inside the airport and costs $35 per test, with an approx. 15 min wait time. The test cannot be pre-paid. This test is in addition to the negative PCR test required for departure from Uganda. There is a four (4) hour advance check-in requirement at EBB. Please note that KLM is not applying this antigen test requirement for departure from Rwanda.

South Africa:

  • Arrival testing requirements: A negative COVID PCR test certificate within 72 hours of departure from country of origin is compulsory.
  • Arrival procedures: Completion of screening and health questionnaires on arrival. Any symptomatic travelers will be required to undergo further testing and should they test positive, they must quarantine at their own cost. 
  • Transit passengers: Transit facilities are open and passengers are allowed to transit through South Africa provided they are in possession of the negative PCR certificate and adhere to screening and health protocols. Please note that the transit hotel at ORT is currently closed and any transit passengers needing to overnight will have to do so at the very basic designated government ‘inadmissible’ facility.
  • Departure testing requirements: As of January 26th, all US-bound pax must present a negative Covid test to return to the USA. More details here.
  • New Frontiers has a very comprehensive COVID-19 page on the NF Agent Zone that we recommend you review for full details (member log-in required).

Botswana:

  • Arrival testing requirements: A negative COVID PCR test certificate within 72 hours of departure from departing country is compulsory for entry.
  • Arrival procedures: Travelers are required to fill out a screening and health questionnaire on arrival. Any symptomatic travelers will be required to undergo further testing and should they test positive, they must quarantine at their own cost.
  • Departure testing requirements: As of January 26th, all US-bound pax must present a negative Covid test to return to the USA. More details here. 
  • Transit passengers: International travellers returning to South Africa to stay or transit will require additional negative Covid PCR test certificate valid within 72 hours. More details on the NF Agent Zone (member log-in required).

Zimbabwe:

  • Arrival testing requirements: Travelers are required to have a negative PCR COVID-19 test issued by a recognized facility within 48 hours of arrival.
  • Arrival procedures: Travelers are required to fill out a screening and health questionnaire on arrival. A quick health screening will take place, including a temperature check. Any symptomatic travelers will be required to undergo further testing and should they test positive, they must quarantine at their own cost.
  • Departure testing requirements: As of January 26th, all US-bound pax must present a negative Covid test to return to the USA. More details here. 
  • Transit passengers: International travellers returning to South Africa to stay or transit will require additional negative Covid PCR test certificate valid within 72 hours. More details on the NF Agent Zone (member log-in required).
  • Zimbabwe’s land borders remain closed to all but essential services and returning residents.

Zambia

  • Arrival testing requirements: A negative COVID PCR test certificate within 72 hours of arrival is compulsory.
  • Arrival procedures: Travelers are required to fill out a screening and health questionnaire on arrival. A quick health screening will take place, including a temperature check. Any symptomatic travelers will be required to undergo further testing and should they test positive, they must quarantine at their own cost.
  • Departure testing requirements: As of January 26th, all US-bound pax must present a negative Covid test to return to the USA. More details here. 
  • Transit passengers: International travellers returning to South Africa to stay or transit will require additional negative Covid PCR test certificate valid within 72 hours. More details on the NF Agent Zone (member log-in required)

Namibia:

  • Arrival testing requirements: All tourists must have a negative PCR result not older than 72 hours before boarding their flight to Namibia.
  • Arrival procedures: Tourists must complete a health questionnaire which will need to be submitted, together with a full travel itinerary, to Health Ministry staff when they first arrive at the airport. The health questionnaire forms can be obtained at www.namibiatourism.com.na, which can be found here. Tourists must have travel insurance which covers medical expenses and unexpected hotel stays in case of falling ill while traveling.
  • Departure testing requirements: As of January 26th, all US-bound pax must present a negative Covid test to return to the USA. More details here. 

Ethiopia:

  • Arrival testing requirements: A negative PCR Covid-19 test issues no earlier than 72 hours before arrival is required for entry.
  • Arrival procedures: A quick health screening will take place on arrival at the airport, including a temperature check.
  • Departure testing requirements: As of January 26th, all US-bound pax must present a negative Covid test to return to the USA. More details here. 
  • Transit passengers: Transit passengers are not required to present a negative PCR test, however most airlines and countries will require a negative test for boarding or entry.
  • Comprehensive entry requirements from Ethiopian Airlines here.

Latin America

Belize:

  • Arrival testing requirements: Arriving passengers who provide a certificate of a negative Covid-19 PCR test from within 96 hours of travel or a negative rapid test from within 48 hours of arrival 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 (USD $50). Vaccinated passengers arriving more than two weeks past their final immunization date may enter Belize without a negative PCR test.
  • Arrival procedures: Passengers must download and complete the Belize Health App within 72 hours of arrival as well as the Customs and Immigration Form that is provided to you on your flight to Belize.
  • Departure testing requirements: As of January 26th, all US-bound pax must present a negative Covid test to return to the USA. More details here. 
  • More details from Maya Trails.

Guatemala:

  • Arrival testing requirements: Passengers must have a medical certificate with a NEGATIVE PCR test result issued at most 72 hours before arrival. (this does not apply to children under the age of 10, passengers who have proof of recovery from a COVID-19 infection within the last 90 days or passengers that have proof of vaccination with the second dose administered at least 2 weeks prior to arrival).
  • Arrival procedures: Passengers must download and complete the Belize Health App within 72 hours of arrival as well as the Customs and Immigration Form that is provided to you on your flight to Belize.
  • Departure testing requirements: As of January 26th, all US-bound pax must present a negative Covid test to return to the USA. More details here.
  • More details from Maya Trails.

Costa Rica:

  • Arrival testing requirements: Residents of all U.S. states and Canada are allowed entry to Costa Rica with no Covid testing required!
  • Arrival procedures: Complete the electronic epidemiological Health Pass form, available at https://salud.go.cr/ Form should be completed and submitted 48 hours prior departure. At the end of the health form, a QR code is generated which the customer can save on their mobile phone or print out. This QR code must be presented upon check-in at the airport and entry to Costa Rica. Visitors must purchase travel insurance and provide proof of insurance.
  • Departure testing requirements: As of January 26th, all US-bound pax must present a negative Covid test to return to the USA. More details here.
  • The latest details from Costa Rica Sun Tours here.

Ecuador:

  • Arrival testing requirements: Arriving passengers must provide a certificate of a negative Covid-19 PCR test from within 96 hours of travel. Vaccinated passengers arriving more than two weeks past their final immunization date may enter Ecuador and without a negative PCR test. Proof of vaccination is not adequate for entry to the Galapagos Islands – a negative PCR test from within 96 hours of travel is still required.
  • Arrival procedures: Passengers must fill out and sign the Traveler’s Health Record, preferably in advance, which will be delivered to the staff of the Ministry of Public Health.
  • Departure testing requirements: As of January 26th, all US-bound pax must present a negative Covid test to return to the USA. More details here.
  • The latest details from Tropic Ecuador here.

Baja California Sur, Mexico:

  • Arrival testing requirements: There are no entry requirements for travelers arriving at Los Cabos International airport.
  • Arrival procedures: Travelers must fill out a questionnaire about recent travel and exposure for safety.
  • Departure testing requirements: As of January 26th, all US-bound pax must present a negative Covid test to return to the USA. More details here. TOSEA can arrange for tests for clients either at Los Colibris or at their bodega in La Paz.
  • More details on TOSEA’s safety protocols for Covid-19 here.

 

About the Author:

Tad Bradley

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