Last updated: January 28, 2021
*** Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.
Waivers to the testing requirement may be granted by the CDC on an extremely limited basis when extraordinary emergency travel (like an emergency medical evacuation) must occur to preserve someone’s health and safety, and testing cannot be completed before travel. There are no waivers available for individuals who test positive for COVID-19. Individuals – or air carriers seeking to allow boarding by potentially qualifying individuals – who believe they meet the criteria for a waiver should contact the U.S. Embassy Lilongwe at LilongweConsular@state.gov and provide the information below. The U.S. Embassy or Consulate will then submit the request to the CDC for consideration.
The following information must be provided for each passenger:
- Name (family name/surname, given name), passport number and country
- Cell phone number including country code of passenger or head of household if family unit
- Email address of passenger or head of household if family unit
- U.S. destination address
- Is U.S. destination home address?
- Departure date
- Flight itinerary
- Name of submitting entity if different from passenger
- Name of company submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
- Name of point of contact submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
- Phone and email address for POC submitting waiver request on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
- Purpose of travel to the U.S. (provide brief explanation of why urgent travel is needed and how travel will contribute to health and safety of passengers(s))
- Justification for testing waiver (e.g. no testing available, impact on health and safety)
- Documentation to support justification for test waiver, if available (e.g. medical records or orders for medical evacuation)
As of January 28, 2021, Malawi has reported 22,304 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 7,548 recoveries, and 628 deaths. In recent weeks, the reported number of cases have been increasing. Daily updates of the COVID-19 data can be found at this link. . All land borders remain closed except for essential goods transporters, deportees, and those in special circumstances. Malawians and residents can return to Malawi upon production of an original certified negative COVID-19 test result. Foreigners may not travel to Malawi via land borders. All activities that involve an audience, such as music shows, sports, arts, and religious gatherings, are restricted to 50 people or fewer. Beginning Monday, January 18, schools are closed for 3 weeks, a curfew is in place from 9pm to 5am and all markets must close at 5pm and all drinking establishments must close at 8pm. Hotels and lodges are operating but with strict COVID-19 measures. Wearing of face masks in all public places is mandatory, and those who do not follow these guidelines may face fines.
- Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Malawi? Yes
- If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes
- For information on limited humanitarian exemptions, please review the following page: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-testing-required-us-entry.html
Main Laboratories and hospitals providing Covid-19 PCR tests:
- Mzuzu Central Hospital in Mzuzu
- Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe
- Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre
- Zomba Central Hospital Laboratory in Zomba
- National Public Health Institute of Malawi (PHIM), CHSU Campus
All tests are done at a fee and U.S. Citizens are required to pay all the required fees. The average cost for a COVID-19 PCR test is approximately 50,000 MWK (USD 63). This link guides travelers to recommended testing sites for travelers, including contact details for focal points.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information:
- Has the government of Malawi approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use? No
- The United States Government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.
- Information from the CDC regarding COVID-19 vaccination can be found at this link.
Entry and Exit Requirements
- Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes
- Visit the Malawi Immigration website for more information: https://www.immigration.gov.mw/
Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes
- All arriving passengers via air into the Republic of Malawi shall be required to produce a negative SARS Cov-2 PCR test certificate obtained within 10 days prior to arrival in Malawi. Any passenger without the said certificate will be denied entry. All arriving passengers will be asked to self-monitor for l4 days after which they will be followed up by Health Authorities.
- Arriving passengers may be required to provide samples for Covid-19 testing. Samples will be collected at the airport and test results will be communicated to the concerned within 48 hours.
- Any symptomatic passengers will be handled according to specific guidelines laid down by the Health Authorities.
- All arriving passengers shall fill out and submit Travel Surveillance Forms (TSF) which shall be made available on-board aircraft or in the airport terminal building. The forms shall be handed over to health personnel in the terminal building.
- All departing passengers via air from the Republic of Malawi shall be required to produce a negative SARS Cov-2 PCR test certificate obtained within 10 days prior to departure from Malawi (*note that various destination countries may have their respective COVID-19 testing guidelines).
Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes
- All travelers and service providers shall observe the infection control protocols such as social distancing, hand washing/sanitizing and wearing of face masks; body temperatures will be checked at various strategic points.
- All U.S citizens who want to apply for visa extension or resident permit extension can visit any nearest Malawi Immigration Office to apply for extension.
- For more information visit the Malawi Immigration website; https://www.immigration.gov.mw/
- Is a curfew in place? Yes
- A curfew is in place from 9pm to 5am and all markets must close at 5pm and all drinking establishments must close at 8pm.
- Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No
- Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? No
- All international travelers arriving in Malawi will be asked to self-monitor for l4 days. After that time, they will be followed up by Health Authorities.
- Are commercial flights operating? Yes
- Is public transportation operating? Yes
- Public transportation options are extremely limited in Malawi. Those that operate are small privately owned minibuses, covered motorbike taxis, and bicycle taxis. Minibuses are expected to limit passengers and require mask usage and some social distancing.
Fines for Non-Compliance (if applicable)
- There is a fine of 10,000 MWK (USD 13) if someone fails to comply with the Malawi Government regulations regarding social distancing restriction and mandatory face mask use
- The Consular Section continues to operate with severely reduced services. The United States Embassy in Malawi remains unable to resume routine visa services (immigrant and non-immigrant) at this time. We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date. During this time, services are limited tosupporting S. citizens with consular emergencies. In the event of a U.S. citizen emergency during regular working hours, please contact the U.S. Embassy at +265-887-38-41-09. For U.S. citizen emergencies outside of office hours please call +265-999-96-01-78.
- For questions related to COVID-19, please contact the Ministry of Health at +265 1 789 400 or https://www.health.gov.mw/or monitor changes on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/malawimoh. You may also visit the Public Health Institute of Malawi’s COVID-19 website for updates http://covid19.health.gov.mw/. The following local mobile network numbers should be used to report any suspected cases of, or for any further information on, COVID-19 while in Malawi.
- Other links:
- U.S. Embassy Lilongwe, Malawi, Area 40, City Center Lilongwe, Malawi
- U.S. citizens with emergencies: +265 887-38-41-09
- Outside of office hours: +265-999-96-01-78
- E-mail: LilongweConsular@state.gov
- Website: https://mw.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/
- State Department – Consular Affairs 888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
- Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts
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