As new COVID-19 variants emerge and travel requirements change, we continue to stay up to date on the latest information. Here are the most frequently asked questions regarding the recent travel bans in Africa and the U.S.’s new testing requirements due to Omicron. For entry requirements per country, please visit our COVID-19 Africa Travel Guide here. If you have any specific questions, reach us at [email protected].
Rules have quickly changed, what do I need to know?
Starting December 6th, air travelers flying to the U.S. from abroad will need to show airlines proof of a negative COVID test result that was taken within one day of departure before being allowed to board. That includes U.S. citizens and vaccinated travelers.
When do I need to take the departure test?
The test must be performed within one calendar day before your flight to the US. In other words, it can be slightly more than 24 hours before your departure. Getting a test done within this timeframe is not an issue in Africa as most international airports offer COVID testing on-site.
What types of tests are accepted to enter the U.S.?
Both antigen and nucleic acid amplification tests, or NAAT, including PCR, results will be accepted.
What if I’ve tested positive recently?
Instead of presenting a negative test before your departure, you can present documentation of recovery from COVID in the last 90 days.
Do I need to take a test when I land in the U.S.?
No. The U.S. does not require that travelers test upon landing and entering the U.S. However, the CDC has expanded a program to offer free, voluntary tests to travelers upon arrival to help detect variants, most recently the omicron variant.
Do I need to be vaccinated to travel?
It depends on which countries you are visiting. As of December 21, Kenya requires that all visitors be vaccinated. Malawi and Zambia are enforcing this too. As of right now, no other African countries are enforcing this, but we predict that more will follow suit.
What happens if I test positive before I travel?
If you test positive before you go, at least you know you can put the brakes on your trip, and we can work with you to postpone to another time. There may be some costs involved, but we are your advocates and will work with suppliers to keep costs to the minimum. Furthermore, trip insurance will protect you against any penalties incurred.
What if I test positive while traveling?
While these cases are rare, we are here to assist you with logistics, and with a little patience, these things can always be worked out.
- If you have to quarantine, there are solutions:
- Travel insurance now covers Covid, so if you get sick or test positive, it’s covered.
- We won’t leave you high and dry – you have our support until the end! We will make sure you are comfortable in your quarantine location.
- If you absolutely do not wish to or cannot quarantine for 10-14 days as required, there is always Covac Global, supplemental insurance which will bring you home if you are quarantined, just as soon as arrangements can be made.
What happens if U.S. borders close?
U.S. citizens will never be turned away from entering the country regardless of where they have traveled.
What happens if the borders close and I’m unable to visit a country on my itinerary?
If you are flexible about your safari plans, we will reroute your itinerary to countries that are open to tourists. If you are not comfortable traveling at all, we can assist you with postponing your trip to a later date when you feel more confident.
What if regulations change while I’m traveling?
Storytime! During the first few days of the Omicron, travel bans were being implemented and flights were getting canceled while several of our guests were in transit to Africa. It was a holiday weekend after all. While many of them made it safely to their destination, we got a call from one of our groups who was stranded in Istanbul after their flight to South Africa was canceled. They were supposed to go to South Africa, Zambia, and Uganda. Despite the circumstances, their spirits were up, and they were keen to continue their safari instead of flying home, as they had already postponed their trip three times. Most flights to/from Southern Africa were canceled so they couldn’t go to Zambia and South Africa like originally planned. We called upon our partners in East Africa on a Saturday afternoon and rerouted their entire trip to Kenya within a moment’s notice. The travelers spent the weekend exploring Istanbul, while they waited for the next available flight and for their visa applications to be processed. When they eventually landed in Kenya, they went straight to the Masai Mara for safari. Shortly after arriving they sent us a photo of a lioness and her cub and said they were having the best time. We go above and beyond to help our guests no matter the circumstances or the time of day.
Does it benefit me to purchase travel insurance?
The answer is yes! Cancel for COVID-19 Sickness can provide reimbursement for prepaid and non-refundable trip payments if a trip is canceled or interrupted due to a traveler contracting the virus. Not all policies cover it, so be sure to check the “Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption” benefits of your policy before purchasing it as coverages between policies do vary. For coverage to be available, the traveler must be healthy when they purchase their policy. If a traveler tests positive for COVID-19 before their scheduled departure date, Cancel for COVID-19 Sickness can reimburse 100% of their prepaid and non-refundable trip expenses. If the traveler contracts the virus during their trip, this benefit can reimburse their unused trip expenses, as well as additional transportation expenses they incur to return home. Travel insurance is your best protection and gives you peace of mind. Another way to protect your investment is to purchase Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) insurance, but be aware that it usually covers up to 75% of the trip cost, so be sure to check the details on your policy.
Alluring Africa Assurance
We present the facts for safe travel and stay up to date with regulations and entry requirements. Our extensive knowledge and deep connections in Africa allow us to turn on a dime and advocate for guests’ best interests. It doesn’t cost more to have an advocate. In fact, it shows its ROI in spades, especially during these times when regulations are constantly changing, and rules are confusing to understand.