Tanzania sets tough rules for travellers to curb Covid spread

Thursday September 16 2021
Travellers at Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania.

Officials screen travellers at Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania in 2018. Tanzania has announced new measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. PHOTO | FILE | AFP


Health ministries Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar on Wednesday announced enhanced surveillance for international travellers to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Enhanced surveillance

A joint statement by Health Permanent Secretaries Abel Makubi (mainland) and Fatma Mrisho (Zanzibar) directed that all travellers, including Tanzanians, returning residents and crew members, should present a negative Covid-19 certificate upon arrival.

The country will only accept Real Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing or Nucleic Acid Amplifications Tests (NAATS) done at nationally accredited or approved laboratories using sample tested within 96 hours of departure to Tanzania.

Travellers will also be required to fill in an online traveller’s health surveillance form within 24 hours before arrival in Tanzania.

It further directed officials to ensure travellers adhere to personal hygiene on arrival at ports of entry such as hand hygiene, physical distancing and wearing of face masks.


The measures will take effect on September 19, 2021.

Covid test

In addition, travellers arriving from, or who have travelled through countries that have reported various Covid variants or those with high number of Covid-19 cases in the last 14 days, will have to undergo rapid tests on arrival in Tanzania, at their own cost.

“Cost for Covid-19 rapid test shall be to Tsh23,000 ($10) of which is non-refundable and testing fees applies to travellers arriving in Tanzania mainland by air or marine vessels, for Zanzibar the cost for rapid test shall be Tsh58,000 ($25),” the statement said.

Travellers to Tanzania mainland have been urged to pay for Covid-19 rapid test online to avoid unnecessary queues upon arrival.

“Children aged 5 years and below, travellers in transit, aircraft crew are exempted from both RT-PCR certificate and Covid-19 rapid antigen test,” the statement added.

Travellers with Covid-19 rapid antigen test will be allowed to isolate themselves at their residence for 14 days or more until they test negative using RT-PCR test and will be under strict surveillance to ensure they adhere to the isolation rules.

Truck drivers

The Health officials further stated that all truck drivers and crew transporting cargo across Tanzania’s borders should have valid Covid-19 negative RT-PCR or NAATs certificate obtained from approved laboratories. The certificates will be valid for 14 days only. Truck drivers RT-PCR tests will be free, the statement added.

All truck drivers and crew will be subjected to enhanced screening at points of the entry and will be quarantined or isolated at designated facilities at their own cost if they are suspected of being infected with Covid-19.

Furthermore, cargo trucks shall have a maximum of three crew members to facilitate smooth border crossing to Tanzania, the official said.

In a crew member is quarantined while in transit, truck owners or operators must make necessary arrangements to ensure their goods are delivered to the intended destination. Truck drivers must declare their final destinations at the points of entry.