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Opening up of Africa’s International Borders

Lydia Van Der Merwe, our operations manager in the South African office, has put together these resources to help you with your travels. While we always make every effort to provide you the latest information, we strongly recommend in contacting World Fuel Trip Support regarding your specific operation.

As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread throughout the continent, African countries are starting to open their borders to allow international travel. Curfews are being removed, and international tourists are slowly being allowed to reenter.

Most countries have adopted various restrictions and requirements, including limiting international operations' numbers to enter and strict health protocols. The most common requirement for all crew and passengers to carry a Negative COVID PCR test and undergo screening at all entry ports. Social distancing and masks are also required throughout.

Recent data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows that the impact of the COVID-19 on Africa’s Aviation industry is worsening as the months pass.

"COVID-19 has devastated African economies and brought air connectivity across the continent to a virtual standstill. And the situation is getting worse. The economic consequences resulting from a disconnected continent are severe. Millions of jobs and livelihoods are at risk in family-run enterprises and large corporations along the entire travel and tourism value chain. For Africa’s economic recovery and future prosperity, it is essential to expedite the safe restart of the industry,” said Muhammad Al Bakri, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East.
(Resource 1)

There has been much indecision in which direction the continent should take – Allow international air travel to resume, risking the continued and possible increased spread of Covid-19, or allow the economies to suffer further.

Very recently, South Africa announced that their borders will begin opening as of 1 Oct. This had not been the case with many reporting that South Africa would  not open to tourists until 2021. With other popular destinations beginning to open borders to visitors with caution, South Africa has moved to Level 1, allowing international visitors to enter with restrictions. These restrictions will affect certain travelers from countries with high infection rates.

Only three of South Africa’s international airport will open on the 1 October as well. These are, OR Tambo International Airport ( FAOR ), Cape town International Airport ( FACT ) and King Shaka International Airport ( FALE ). All travelers will be required to have a negative COVID PCR Test no older than 72 hours. 
 

South Africa Opens Borders With Restrictions

On 1 Oct, South Africa opened the international borders with restrictions. View the complete restrictions on the COVID-19 Resource page. 

Key Points for Traveling to South Africa

  • International air travel will be restricted to the following airports:
    • OR Tambo International Airport
    • King Shaka International Airport
    • Cape Town International Airport
  • Travel to the Republic of South Africa will remain prohibited for travelers from high risk countries (countries with high COVID-19 infection and transmission rates). The list of high risk countries has not yet been published, but will released prior to 1 October 2020. The list will be under constant review and will be amended as required.
  • International travel from high risk countries will remain prohibited except for business travel, which may be allowed with the approval of the Home Affairs Cabinet member.
  • Travel to and from the Republic of South Africa will be allowed, subject to those travelers entering the Republic being from low risk countries only, and who adhere to the below requirements:
    • The traveler must provide a negative COVID-19 test that has been obtained no more than 72 hours prior to the date of travel.
    • If the traveler is unable to produce a negative COVID-19 test, the traveler will be required to quarantine at their own cost.
  • Subject to the compliance protocols for entering and exiting the Republic of South Africa, daily commuters from neighboring countries who attend or teach at a school will be allowed to enter and exit the Republic.
  • Certain visa application services on offer will resume at Home Affairs from this week. This list will be under review and will be amended as required
    (Resource 6).

Minimizing Impact on Jobs

To minimize the impact on jobs and the broader African economy, accelerated recovery of air transport across the continent is vital. This can be achieved through government action in two priority areas:

Harmonizing the restart of air transport in Africa

The harmonized adoption of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council’s Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) Take-off Guidance - the global biosafety framework for the safe restart of aviation - is critical for the safe resumption of air transport. To avoid conflicting measures, disruptions, and inefficiencies, all countries, including those in Africa, must apply these recommendations consistently and uniformly, without imposing unnecessary border constraints such as quarantines, which deter passengers and suppress air travel demand.

According to ICAO, Rwanda is among the world's first countries to have fully complied with ICAO’s biosecurity recommendations. Barry Kashambo, Regional Director, ESAF speaking on behalf of the ICAO Regional Offices accredited to African States ICAO, said: “We recognize the efforts and actions by Rwanda and some other States, to fully implement the provisions of ICAO CART recommendations and Take-off guidance and measures. We encourage all Governments in Africa to prioritize the restart of aviation and tap into its potential as an enabler to Africa’s economic recovery post-COVID-19. Air connectivity is critical to economic and sustainable development and the movement of persons across the continent.”

Stepping up efforts to support the industry

Continued financial and regulatory support, particularly financial relief--that does not increase industry debt levels--through direct cash injections, credit or loans, and deferrals or discounts on user charges are essential to support airlines over the restart and recovery period.

"We are grateful to the few African governments that have provided relief to aviation so far - Rwanda, Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and Cabo Verde. Their actions have helped save thousands of jobs and enable some airlines to restart and support their wider economies. But the situation is worsening. Continued relief measures are essential to minimize job losses and ensure that connectivity can be restored. We urge African governments and the development institutions who have committed funding to provide it urgently in a structure that does not weaken already stressed airline balance sheets before it is too late,” said Albakri. (Resource 1)

According to data available, the full-year 2020 traffic will fall by 54% (more than 80 million passenger journeys) compared to 2019. The previous estimate was a fall of 51%. (Resource 3

 

Effects of COVID-19 on Civil Aviation:
Economic Impact Analysis

In Q2, African Airlines alone saw a 90% drop in revenue YoY compared to 2019.
(Resource 4)

Afraa

 The impact on Jobs and losses thereof is being felt globally throughout the travel and tourism sectors. (Resource 4)

wttc

 

Open Countries

As a norm when flying across Africa, prior permissions/landing permits have always been a pre-requisite. While the borders are opening to allow international travel to resume, the permits are still a requirement. It is recommended that 72 hours be given as a minimum to obtain these approvals as there are still delays being experienced. All documentation is checked, and often additional approvals are required.

Overflight permits are also still a standard requirement throughout Africa, and allowing for the approvals to be in place before embarking on any journey, is essential. 

NOTAMS have also been updated better by various countries throughout the past few months; however, there are still numerous countries who have yet to publish any. It is important to check these or contact the Trip Support Team to update before any travel is undertaken. 
Please continue reading through the below list of countries that have opened or are starting to open their borders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afghanistan

AFG

Middle East

Border Open

 

Border Open

Benin

BEN

Africa

Border Open

Testing on arrival

There are no notams available and the only information we could get was from the handler advising that Benin is open, prior permissions are required. No quarantine is required however there is testing on arrival.

Burkina Faso

BFA

Africa

Border Open

Negative Covid PCR Test

No Notams available. Handlers advised Airports are open. Pax to provide Negative Covid PCR Test on arrival no older than 5 days.

Cote d'Ivoire

CIV

Africa

Border Open

 

No Notams available however handler advised that CAA opened the borders to all flights

Democratic Republic of the Congo

COD

Africa

Border Open

Negative Covid PCR Test

PRESENTATION OF MEDICAL CERTIFICATE CONFIRMING THE RESULT NEGATIVE COVID-19 TEST CARRIED OUT THREE DAYS BEFORE THE TRIP

Egypt

EGY

Africa

Border Open

Negative Covid PCR Test

Borders Open to all Crew and Passengers, however they must carry a Negative Covid PCR Test 72 hrs prior to arrival, and PCR Cert must be carried with them.

Ethiopia

ETH

Africa

Next Review to be 31 Aug 2020

Negative Covid PCR Test

Ethiopia does not have any notams and has not had any notams at all referencing COVID. We are doing routine checks on Ethiopia because while they are allowing flights, all passengers and crew are required to quarantine for 14 days. Diplomatic approvals only allow crew to overnight in HAAB for a max of 12hrs.

Equatorial Guinea

GNQ

Africa

Border Open

Negative Covid PCR Test

 

Gabon

GAB

Africa

Border Open

 


Q) FCCC/QAFXX/IV/NBO/E/000/999/0043N01655E999
B) FROM: 20/07/03 20:04C) TO: 20/09/30 23:59 EST
E) COMMERCIAL PASSENGER FLIGHTS, DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL
ARE AUTHORIZED, AT THE RATE OF TWO FREQUENCIES PER WEEK PER
COMPANY, FROM AND TO THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS
OF GABON

Ghana

GHA

Africa

Border Open

Negative Covid PCR Test

A0346/20
Q) DGAC/QFAXX/IV/NBO/A/000/999/0536N00010W005
B) FROM: 20/09/01 00:00C) TO: 20/11/30 23:59 EST
E) COVID 19: KOTOKA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IS OPEN TO ALL FLIGHTS
SUBJECT TO NEW TRAVEL PROCEDURES. AIRCRAFT OPERATORS
MUST INFORM PASSENGERS(INCOMING AND OUTGOING) ABOUT THE NEW
PASSENGER RESTRICTIONS AND HEALTH MEASURES AT THE FOLLOWING
LINK:WWW.GCAA.COM.GH/WEB/PROTOCOLS.HTML

Guinea

GIN

Africa

Next Review to be 17 Sept 2020

Negative Covid PCR Test

Q) GLRB/QFAXX/IV/NBO/A/000/999/0935N01337W005
B) FROM: 20/08/17 05:00C) TO: 20/09/17 23:00 EST
E) CONAKRY GBESSIA INTL AP OPENED TO ALL PUBLIC AIR TRAFFIC WITH
 RESTRICTIONS ON COVID-19 PANDEMIC
SCHEDULE: 0500-2300

Guinea-Bissau

GNB

Africa

Border Open

 

Q) GOOO/QFAXX/IV/NBO/A/000/999/1153N01539W005
B) FROM: 20/07/26 00:00C) TO: 20/07/31 23:59
E) GUINEE-BISSAU OSVALDO VIEIRA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IS REOPENED
TO ECOWAS COUNTRIES FLIGHTS.
HOWEVER TO ALL FLIGHTS FROM 1ST AUGUST 2020 

Iran

IRN

Middle East

Border Open

Negative Covid PCR Test

Border Open

Iraq

IRQ

Middle East

Border Open

Negative Covid PCR Test

14 DAY self quarantine at home at own expense

Kenya

KEN

Africa

Border Open

Negative Covid PCR Test

Border Open

Liberia

LBR

Africa

Border Open

 

Border Open

Maldives

MDV

Africa

Border Open

 

https://www.caa.gov.mv/rules-and-regulations/air-transport-circulars

Mali

MLI

Africa

Border Open.

Negative Covid PCR Test

Passengers need to provide Negative Covd test and comply with all prodecures of sanitary response.

Namibia

NAM

Africa

Border open

 

Open only to Tourism, State of emergency only applies to other ops. All require pre-authorisation.

Niger

NER

Africa

Border Open

 

Q)DRRR/QFAXX/IV/NBO/A /000/999/1329N00210E005
A)DRRX B)2007312259 C)PERM
E)THE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS OF AGADEZ, NIAMEY AND ZINDER ARE REOPENED FOR INTERNATIONAL PASSENGER TRAFFIC. HOWEVER COVID-19 PREVENTIVE MEASURES TO WHICH ALL PASSENGERS MUST SUBMIT ON ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE ISSUED BY THE STATE OF NIGER.

Rwanda

RWA

Africa

Border Open

Negative Covid PCR Test

No Notams however contact advised all flights are allowed, screening of passengers and crew to have a 'Crew Covid-19 Status Card'

Seychelles

SYC

Africa

Border Open

 

Border Open however all entries are subject to the the conditions of the Public Health authority.

Sierra Leone

SLE

Africa

Border Open

Negative Covid PCR Test

All airports open

Senegal

SEN

Africa

Border Open

 

No notams available however handler advised all airports are open with no restrictions.

South Africa

ZAF

Africa

Border Open

Negative Covid PCR Test

Open with Restrictions. Refer to Notam

South Sudan

SSD

Africa

Border open

Negative Covid PCR Test

Border open

Sudan

SDN

Africa

Border open

Negative Covid PCR Test

Flights Allowed on frequency from Egypt, UAE and Turkey. Other countries will be added as they re-open from their respective lockdowns

Togo

TGO

Africa

Border open

Negative Covid PCR Test

Further information available: https://voyage.gouv.tg/?language=en#read

Tunisia

TUN

Africa

Border open

Negative Covid PCR Test

 

United Arab Emirates

ARE

Middle East

Border Open

Negative Covid PCR Test

A1709/20
Q) OMAE/QXXXX/IV/NBO/E/000/999/2500N05430E200
B) FROM: 20/08/17 18:45C) TO: 20/11/16 23:59 EST
E) COVID-19:PASSENGER RESTRICTIONS
IMPLEMENTATION OF PCR TEST PROCEDURES FOR PAX ARRIVING AT UAE
AIRPORTS SHALL BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SAFETY DECISION (SD) 2020-21.
REF HTTPS://WWW.GCAA.GOV.AE E-PUBLICATION-SAFETY DECISIONS-2020

United Republic of Tanzania

TZA

Africa

Border Open

 

Border Open

Zambia

ZMB

Africa

Border Open

Negative Covid PCR Test

Airports open with screening for passengers

Contact World Fuel Trip Support

Asia-Pacific: +65 6215 6888

Canada: +1 403 717 4393

Europe, Middle East & Africa: +41 22 341 6210

South America: + 55 11 2924-2569

United States: +1 800 626 0577 | +1 281 280 2200

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For Commercial, Government & Military

Tel: +1 303 566 3131  | +353 1 905 3501

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