COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information

Last updated:   May 12, 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 United States 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:

  1. Name (family name/surname, given name), passport number and country
  2. Cell phone number including country code of passenger or head of household if family unit
  3. Email address of passenger or head of household if family unit
  4. S. destination address
    1. Is U.S. destination home address?
  5. Departure date
  6. Flight itinerary
  7. Name of submitting entity if different from passenger
  8. Name of company submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
  9. Name of point of contact submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
  10. Phone and email address for POC submitting waiver request on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
  11. 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))
  12. Justification for testing waiver (e.g. no testing available, impact on health and safety)
  13. Documentation to support justification for test waiver, if available (e.g. medical records or orders for medical evacuation)

Country-Specific Information

As of May 11, 2021, Malawi has reported 34,183 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 32,170 recoveries, and 1,153 deaths. In recent weeks, the reported number of cases have been on a sustained decline. 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. Businesses, shops and restaurants can operate within the hours prescribed in their respective licenses but may not stay open later than midnight.  Bars can operate within the hours prescribed in their respective licenses but must not play loud music.  All gatherings indoors are restricted to 100 people and all gatherings outdoors are restricted to 250 people. Strong adherence to infection prevention and control preparedness remain in place with wearing face masks in all public places, physical distancing and the availability of handwashing facilities.

On 26 April 2021, given concerns around new variants and surges in cases, the Malawian government imposed a ban on all but essential arrivals and travel, such as diplomatic and medical travel, of nationals or non-nationals that have resided in these countries for at least the previous seven days: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Brazil.

COVID-19 Testing

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 37,500 MWK (46 USD ) for Malawian citizens and 75,000 MWK (92 USD) for foreign nationals .  This link guides travelers to recommended testing sites for travelers, including contact details for focal points.

Laboratories offering rapid COVID-19 testing:

If an airline, connecting city, or destination requires a rapid COVID-19 test, there are two locations in Lilongwe that should be able to accommodate this request:

1. CMED (in the ABC complex)

  • Open Monday- Friday 0800 to 1700.  CMED is closed on public holidays.
  • Testing is located in a tent outside of the clinic in the parking lot.
  • CMED tests sick patients and travelers in the same location.
  • Results while you wait in about 15 minutes.
  • Cost: 25,000 MWK (30 USD)
  1. Partner’s in Hope
    1. Open Monday- Friday 0800-1200 and 1300-1600
    2. Testing is located in tents to the RIGHT of the main building. Check in at the check-in desk inside and pay.
    3. There is one tent for well people and one tent for sick people.
    4. If same day results are needed, request this in advance.  Partner’s in Hope often calls with the results the next day, but it may be possible to receive the results within 15 minutes after giving the explanation of travel.
    5. Cost: 20,000 MWK (24 USD)

COVID-19 Vaccine Information:

  • Has the government of Malawi approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use?  Yes
  • Are vaccines available in Malawi for U.S. citizens to receive? Yes
  • Which vaccines are available in Malawi? The AstraZeneca vaccine
  • According to Malawi government authorities, as of April 6, 2021, the vaccination has been extended to everyone18 years old and above. Malawi’s vaccination program can be accessed in all government and CHAM health facilities.
  • Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccinesin the United States.
  • The U.S. 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.

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 72 hours 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 72 hours 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/

Movement Restrictions

  • Is a curfew in place? No
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No

Quarantine Information 

  • 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.

Transportation Options

  • 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 

  • Is there a fine for non-compliance? No

Consular Operations

  • The Consular Section continues to operate with reduced services.  The United States Embassy in Malawi remains unable to resume routine visa services. The Consular Section is processing a limited number of Immigrant Visa (IV) applications according to priority date. Interview appointments for other categories, including routine B1/B2 interview appointments, remain suspended.  The Consular Section continues to provide S. citizen services.  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.

Local Resources:

  • 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.

TNM :929

Airtel: 54747