Travel to Africa and the Middle East: A Reopening Timeline, Country by Country

Holy Month of Ramadan in UAE During The Coronavirus Crisis
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The novel coronavirus has cropped up in every country across Africa and the Middle East, with the largest outbreak having occurred in South Africa, where there have been over 2.9 million cases. Most countries responded to the virus by imposing strict lockdown procedures and travel bans, closing their borders to all except for returning citizens and permanent residents.

Although some countries in the Middle East and Africa, like Egypt and Rwanda, are welcoming tourists, precautions are in place to detect and prevent the spread of the virus. Others are more cautiously keeping borders closed to everyone except citizens and residents.

Read on for a country-by-country listing of how some countries in Africa and the Middle East are handling border security, lockdowns, and more. 


Foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, are allowed to enter, but they will need a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of their flight to Botswana. A 10-day quarantine is mandatory for any symptomatic traveler. Anyone traveling in close contact with someone who tests positive will be asked to isolate for 10 to 14 days.


Foreigners, including U.S. citizens, are allowed to enter Egypt so long as they can present proof of health insurance and proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure time. Test results must be presented with a QR code on paper. Digital copies are not be accepted. Children under the age of six do not need to be tested. There is no requirement to quarantine upon entering Egypt unless you arrive without a negative test. In this case, you can get tested at the airport and must quarantine until the results come back negative.


Foreign nationals must apply for a permit from the Immigration Authority to enter Israel. Anyone over the age of two traveling to Israel will need proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours. As of August 11, all visitors of the U.S. must quarantine for 14 days, regardless of vaccination status.


Foreigners, including U.S. citizens, will be allowed to enter Kenya so long as they can present a negative PCR test, taken within 96 hours of arrival, and are not showing flu-like symptoms. U.S citizens will not be required to quarantine.


Morocco is open for tourism and the government has classified all countries as either "List A" or "List B" countries. Travelers from List A countries, like the United States, are allowed to enter Morocco with proof of vaccination or a negative test taken within 48 hours. Travelers from List B countries, like Brazil and South Africa, will need to present a negative test and, if they are not fully vaccinated, undergo a 10-day quarantine at an approved hotel.


Mozambique is open for U.S. citizens and all travelers will need to show proof of a hotel reservation and return ticket to obtain a visa on arrival. However, it's strongly recommended that you obtain your visa in advance. Anyone over the age of 11 will also need a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of their departure, regardless of vaccination status. There is no quarantine requirement unless you test positive.


Namibia's borders are open for tourists, including U.S. citizens. Tourists entering Namibia will need to show a negative PCR test taken within seven days before arriving. With a negative PCR test there is no requirement to quarantine, but arriving travelers may be screened for symptoms at the airport.


U.S. citizens and other foreign travelers are permitted to enter Rwanda. All travelers must fill out the Passenger Locator Form and present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before their flight. When entering Rwanda, travelers will be tested again (at their own expense) and required to quarantine in a transit hotel where they will have to wait 24 hours or until the test results return negative.

South Africa

South Africa is open for international travel and is welcoming foreign tourists, including U.S. citizens. All travelers will need to show a negative test taken within 72 hours of departure. There is no need to quarantine if you can provide a negative test result. However, travelers will be screened on arrival and asked to download the COVID Alert South Africa app.


A negative PCR test taken within 96 hours of arrival is required for entry and all travelers must complete a Health Surveillance Form within 24 hours of arrival. At the airport, all travelers will be subject to a health screening and must pay $10 for a rapid test upon entry. U.S. citizens do not have to quarantine unless they test positive on arrival.


Travelers are allowed to enter Tunisia with proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours. Unvaccinated travelers will be required to complete a seven-day quarantine at a government-approved hotel. Proof of accommodation will be requested upon entry. However, vaccinated travelers are also required to self-isolate at their residence for at least seven days. All travelers should also complete, print, and sign the required questionnaire.


U.S. citizens can enter Uganda but must arrive with proof of vaccination a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours. Unvaccinated travelers will also be tested upon arrival at their own expense. When leaving Uganda, every traveler must present another negative PCR test taken within 72 hours, even if the destination country doesn't require it.

United Arab Emirates

The borders of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are open for tourism and flights to Dubai and Abu Dhabi are operating. U.S. citizens must show a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure. In Abu Dhabi, travelers will also need to provide proof of vaccination (via the Alhosn app) to enter businesses like malls and restaurants.

Quarantine requirements vary by Emirate and vaccinated travelers from green list countries do not have to quarantine so long as they test negative before and after arriving. Because the U.S. is no longer a green country, unvaccinated travelers from the U.S. are required to quarantine for 10 days if entering Abu Dhabi.


U.S. citizens are allowed to enter Zimbabwe, but they must have a negative PCR test result. A negative test, uploaded on the Trusted Travel Initiative Platform, will also be required to depart Zimbabwe.

All travelers arriving from a country with increasing cases of either the Alpha or Delta variant will be tested on arrival and must quarantine for 10 days at their own expense. However, according to the U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwean government has not identified these countries.

Article Sources
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  1. U.S. Embassy in Botswana. "COVID-19 Information." August 13, 2021.

  2. U.S. Embassy in Egypt. "COVID-19 Information." September 10, 2021.

  3. U.S. Embassy in Israel. "COVID-19 Information." August 11, 2021.

  4. U.S. Embassy in Kenya. "COVID-19 Information." October 8, 2021.

  5. U.S. Embassy & Consulate in Morocco. "COVID-19 Information." October 5, 2021.

  6. U.S. Embassy in Mozambique. "COVID-19 Information." October 14, 2021.

  7. U.S. Embassy in Namibia. "COVID-19 Information." October 14, 2021.

  8. U.S. Embassy in Rwanda. "COVID-19 Information." October 14, 2021.

  9. U.S. Embassy & Consulates in South Africa. "COVID-19 Information." October 4, 2021.

  10. U.S. Embassy in Tanzania. "COVID-19 Information." October 7, 2021.

  11. U.S. Embassy in Tunisia. "COVID-19 Information." September 27, 2021.

  12. U.S. Embassy in Uganda. "COVID-19 Information." October 5, 2021.

  13. U.S. Embassy & Consulate in the United Arab Emirates. "COVID-19 Information." September 29, 2021.

  14. U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe. "COVID-19 Information." October 1, 2021.

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