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

2021-09-23T11:34:42-05:00September 3rd, 2021|

Updated September 3, 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.

Africa partners | Latin America partners


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:

  • Arrival testing requirements: All travelers are required to fill in an online Traveler’s Surveillance Form within 24 hours before arrival to Tanzania. All travelers, whether foreigners or returning residents will be required to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate upon arrival using a sample collected within 72 hours before arrival to Tanzania. All travelers will be subjected to enhanced screening for COVID-19 infection including a rapid test. The cost for rapid test is 25 USD per traveler.
  • Arrival procedures: A health screening will take place on arrival at the airport, including a temperature check and COVID-19 rapid test.
  • 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. Departing safari guests can get tested in Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Stone Town, Karatu, or in the Serengeti National Park at either Seronera or Kogatende. It may also be possible to arrange for a medical professional to come to the traveler’s camp at the traveler’s cost. Clients should allow up to 48 hours to get their test results back.
  • Click here for more details from Albatros Travel on all entry/exit requirements and more.

Kenya:

  • Arrival testing requirements: Arriving passengers must present a negative PCR based COVID – 19 test carried out within 96 hours before departure from their home country.
  • Arrival procedures: Arriving passengers must register for a Trusted Travel Code (TT Code) before traveling. They must also fill out a health surveillance form. They will then receive an email with a QR code that they should print and carry when traveling to Kenya. Guests must also apply for a visa online before visiting Kenya as it is no longer possible to obtain one on arrival. Guests must present their COVID negative certificate, TT code and the QR code generated from their Traveller Health Surveillance Form at the health check desk before proceeding to immigration. They will also be screened for current signs of infection. Travellers under the age of 18 are required only to have a Covid negative certificate.
  • 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. There are numerous approved testing labs including sites across Nairobi and Mombasa. A limited number of properties, including Angama Mara and Lewa Wilderness can also carry out tests at the camp and send them to a laboratory. Where testing is not available at the accommodation, Albatros may be able to arrange for a testing professional to visit clients to provide a ‘special access’ test at traveler’s cost.
  • Click here for more details from Albatros Travel on all entry/exit requirements and more.

Rwanda:

  • Arrival testing requirements: Arriving passengers over the age of 5 must present negative PCR test results from within 72 hours of arrival.
  • Arrival procedures: Visitors must complete the Passenger Locator Form before arrival. Passengers will be tested on arrival followed by quarantine in a local hotel for up to 24 hours while awaiting results. All guests staying at various hotels countrywide are required to present a negative PCR or Rapid Antigen Test. For international tourists who will have taken a second test upon arrival in the country, the negative test results will be valid for 72 hours. They will be required to take a rapid test after this period elapses. The only accepted test for tourists visiting Volcanoes, Nyungwe and Gishwati-Mukura national parks is a PCR test taken within 72 hours. A negative Rapid Antigen Test taken within 72 hours will be accepted for Akagera National Park.
  • 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 72 hours before boarding the first flight of their journey to Uganda. The Uganda Ministry of Health has announced a new system requiring a PCR COVID test on arrival in Entebbe. This test is in addition to current COVID test entry requirements. Fully vaccinated, asymptomatic travelers carrying a COVID vaccine record are exempt from the on-arrival test through September 2, but are subject to new requirements going into effect September 3, 2020. Update Sept. 3: Arrival testing has been postponed for two weeks. More details here).  Note that all COVID-19 PCR certificates for travelers must indicate ‘travel’ as the intended purpose of the test. Guests must not exit their airport(s) en route and no stopovers are permitted.
  • Arrival procedures: View this communication for the latest arrival/testing procedures. The testing venue offers services including free WiFi, food and drinks from a cafe (at traveler’s cost), a rest lounge with music, emergency services, trained medical staff and a professional baggage handling team. There are also accommodations at the facility (available at extra cost) for guests who prefer privacy. Additionally, all travelers should carry all vaccination cards, passports and visa paperwork in their carry-on, as they will not have access to checked luggage until after they are tested and released.
  • 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 at a designated facility. 
  • 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. Transit travelers should also keep a copy of their itinerary and flight tickets with them should they be requested to present these at any stage.
  • 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). Additionally, additional information on the current Adjusted Level 4 lockdown (June 28, 2021) can be found here.

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. There has been confusion about a required quarantine for guests arriving in Zimbabwe. This is not the case – no quarantine is required unless travelers exhibit symptoms and test positive upon arrival, or if they are coming from, or transiting through India en route to Zimbabwe.
  • 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. All travellers coming from countries deemed “high risk” will be tested for Covid-19 by PCR test upon arrival into Zambia (approx USD$50.00 per person subject to change, payable by the traveler). Travelers who receive a negative result or have proof of vaccine will be exempt from 14 day mandatory quarantine. These rules do not apply for arriving children under age 5 – they are exempted.
  • 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 120 hours before arrival is required for entry and must be presented prior to boarding, as well as upon entry. Children under the age of 10 are exempt.
  • 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. Effective August 1, 2021, Costa Rica will eliminate travel health insurance policy requirements for visitors who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • 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 to Ecuador’s mainland must provide a certificate of a negative Covid-19 PCR test from within 72 hours of travel. Vaccinated passengers arriving more than two weeks past their final immunization date may enter the mainland without a negative PCR test. For the Galapagos Islands all passengers must submit results of a negative RT-PCR test no older than 72 hours prior to boarding. Negative antigen test results are no longer allowed as a means of entry.
  • 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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