Last updated: October 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:
- 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
- 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 October 12, 2021, Malawi has reported 61,694 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 56,531 recoveries, and 2,292 deaths.
Daily updates of the COVID-19 data can be found at this link. Effective On August 27, 2021 the Malawian government announced the lifting of some restrictions and quarantine requirements on visitors to Malawi. On October 8, the Malawian government announced further lifting of restrictions.
The government of Malawi requires a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test to enter and exit Malawi. The Malawi Ministry of Health has collaborated with the African Union and Africa CDC to implement an online system to authenticate and verify traveler’s COVID-19 certificates called the Trusted Travel (TT) platform. Effective July 1, 2021, travelers are expected to present a COVID certificate with an alphanumeric TT travel code upon arrival or prior to departure. The Ministry of Health has created a Traveler’s Manual for using the TT platform.
All travelers over one year of age are required to produce a negative PCR COVID-19 test result obtained no more than 72 hours ahead of their arrival in Malawi except for truck drivers and their assistants whose negative PCR test is valid for up to 14 days. If you arrive in Malawi with a COVID test more than 72 hours old, they will test you at the airport for 80,000 Malawi kwacha. There are no exceptions to this requirement. You may not present a letter from a medical provider stating you have recovered from COVID.
Businesses, shops, and restaurants can operate within the hours prescribed in their respective licenses but may not stay open later than 11:00 p.m. due to a nationwide curfew from midnight to 6:00 a.m. All gatherings indoors are restricted to 500 people or 50% of the venue’s capacity and all gatherings outdoors are restricted to 2,000 people.
- 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, COVID-19-related humanitarian exemptions to enter the United States, please review the following page: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-testing-required-us-entry.html
Below are the main laboratories and hospitals providing COVID-19 PCR tests. However, the National Public Health Institute of Malawi (PHIM), CHSU campus is currently the only institution that provides digital certificates consistent with the new Ethiopian Airlines guidelines for travel COVID-19 testing. Before visiting one of these health centers for travel COVID-19 testing, confirm that the results will be accepted by your airline of choice.
- 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 require a fee. The average cost for a COVID-19 PCR test is approximately 40,000 MWK for Malawian citizens and 80,000 MWK 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. However, the National Public Health Institute of Malawi (OHIM), CHSU campus is currently the only institution that provides digital certificates consistent with the new Ethiopian Airlines guidelines for travel COVID-19 testing. Before visiting one of these health centers for travel COVID-19 testing, confirm that the results will be accepted by your airline of choice.
- 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.
- Partners in Hope
- Open Monday- Friday 0800-1200 and 1300-1600
- Testing is located in tents to the RIGHT of the main building. Check in at the check-in desk inside and pay.
- There is one tent for well people and one tent for sick people.
- If same day results are needed, request this in advance. Partners 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.
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 and Johnson & Johnson
- According to Malawi government authorities, as of April 6, 2021, the vaccination has been extended to everyone 18 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 vaccines in 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 certificate will be denied entry. All arriving passengers will be asked to self-monitor for 14 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 within 48 hours. Any symptomatic passengers will be handled according to specific guidelines laid down by the Health Authorities. All arriving passengers shall 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/
- Is a curfew in place? No
- Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No
- Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? No
- All international travelers arriving in Malawi are asked to self-monitor for 14 days. After that time, they will be contacted 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 social distancing.
Fines for Non-Compliance
- Is there a fine for non-compliance? No
As a result of COVID-19 generated constraints, the Consular Section is only offering full services to U.S. citizens and immigrant visa beneficiaries and limited non-immigrant visa services. American citizens in need of emergency assistance can contact us by phone during regular working hours at +265 887 38 41 09 or after hours at +265 882 960 178. Emergencies will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
- 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.
- COVID-19 Traveler Information page on travel.state.gov
- CDC page on COVID-19
- State.gov Country Information and Travel Advisory page