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 3.5 million cases. Many countries have since reopened tourism with testing requirements in place for incoming travelers. In late November, South Africa announced that they had discovered the Omicron variant, which prompted many countries around the world to restrict travel from South Africa and nearby countries.

Read on for a country-by-country listing entry and quarantine requirements in Africa and the Middle East.


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 will 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.


Israel reopened its borders to foreign travelers on January 7. Fully vaccinated travelers are allowed to enter, but they must also take a PCR test within 72 hours or an antigen within 24 hours of departure. Proof of recovery within the last three months will also be accepted. All travelers must fill out the entry statement form within 48 hours before their trip.

Foreign nationals arriving from orange or yellow countries will be PCR tested on arrival and must isolate for 24 hours until the test results are returned. Travelers arriving from red list countries will not be allowed to enter.


Foreigners, including U.S. citizens, will be allowed to enter Kenya so long as they can present proof of vaccination and a negative PCR test, taken within 72 hours of arrival, and are not showing flu-like symptoms. U.S citizens will not be required to quarantine. These documents will need to be uploaded to Global Haven and passengers will also need to fill out the Travelers Health Surveillance Form and obtain a QR code before boarding their flight.


Until January 31, Morocco has suspended all passenger flights entering and leaving the country for at least 14 days. Ferries have also been suspended.

Prior to the flight ban, Morocco welcomed most tourists with few restrictions. The government has classified all countries as either List A, B, or C 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 arriving from List B countries, like Brazil, will need to present a negative test and, if they are not fully vaccinated, undergo a 10-day quarantine at an approved hotel. While in Morocco, proof of vaccination is required to enter most businesses like hotels, restaurants, and grocery stores. Travelers from List C countries, like South Africa, will be denied entry.


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 and processed through the Trusted Travel platform. 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. Upon arrival, travelers will be PCR tested again at their own expense and quarantine for at least 24 hours at a designated hotel, regardless of vaccination status. Each traveler must also schedule a second mandatory PCR test to be taken on their third day in Rwanda at an official testing site.

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. A separate form must be completed for travel to Zanzibar. 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.


Regardless of vaccination status, travelers are only allowed to enter Tunisia with a QR code for a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours. Unvaccinated travelers will be required to complete a 10-day quarantine at a government-approved hotel. Proof of accommodation will be requested upon entry. All travelers should also complete, print, and sign the required questionnaire.


U.S. citizens with approved visas can enter Uganda but must arrive with proof of vaccination a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours. All travelers over age 6 will 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. You can register your vaccine status on the ICA Smart Services website.

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. The U.S. is currently on the green list.


U.S. citizens are allowed to enter Zimbabwe, but they must have a negative PCR test result taken within 48 hours and will be PCR tested again upon arrival at the airport. Those who test negative must still quarantine at their own expense for 10 days, while those who test positive will go into isolation—regardless of vaccination status. A negative test, uploaded on the Trusted Travel Initiative Platform, will also be required to depart Zimbabwe.

Article Sources
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  1. U.S. Embassy in Botswana. "COVID-19 Information." December 4, 2021.

  2. U.S. Embassy in Egypt. "COVID-19 Information." January 11, 2022.

  3. Ministry of Health. "Entry to Israel."

  4. U.S. Embassy in Kenya. "COVID-19 Information." January 13, 2022.

  5. U.S. Embassy & Consulate in Morocco. "COVID-19 Information." December 31, 2021.

  6. U.S. Embassy in Mozambique. "COVID-19 Information." January 18, 2022.

  7. U.S. Embassy in Namibia. "COVID-19 Information." January 18, 2022.

  8. U.S. Embassy in Rwanda. "COVID-19 Information." January 10, 2022.

  9. U.S. Embassy & Consulates in South Africa. "COVID-19 Information." January 5, 2022.

  10. U.S. Embassy in Tanzania. "COVID-19 Information." January 14, 2022.

  11. U.S. Embassy in Tunisia. "COVID-19 Information." January 12, 2022.

  12. U.S. Embassy in Uganda. "COVID-19 Information." January 12, 2022.

  13. U.S. Embassy & Consulate in the United Arab Emirates. "COVID-19 Information." January 14, 2022.

  14. U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe. "COVID-19 Information." January 7, 2022.