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African Countries Travel Restrictions And Border Shutdowns In A Bid To Combat Coronavirus


African Countries Travel Restrictions And Border Shutdowns In A Bid To Combat Coronavirus


Countries around the world are taking drastic measures, including border closures and shutdowns, in an attempt to combat COVID-19.

The accelerated spread of the coronavirus pandemic around the world has necessitated that countries increasingly adopt strict measures to combat the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID 19), including temporary and full lockdowns, shutting down air and seaports, imposing travel restrictions and completely sealing their borders.

The outbreak of the coronavirus has been labelled a pandemic by the WHO.

Below is a list of countries that have taken such measures in recent days. Travellers are advised to visit government websites for updated information and more details.


The government said it would suspend air and sea travel with Europe from March 19. Authorities had previously halted flights with Morocco, Spain, France and China.


Angola closed air, land and sea borders.


On March 17, the government said it shut down land, air and sea borders indefinitely, starting from March 18. International flights were grounded except for cargo planes.

Congo (Republic)

The Republic of the Congo has closed its borders.


On March 15, Djibouti said it was suspending all international flights.


On March 20, the Ethiopian government announced that its state-carrier, the African continent’s biggest airline, would suspend flights to 30 countries.

From March 23, all arriving passengers face mandatory quarantine. Ethiopia also announced that it would shut its land borders to nearly all human traffic as part of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.


Egypt will suspend all air traffic at its airports from March 19 until March 31, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on March 16.

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The Gambia decided on March 23 to close its borders with neighbouring Senegal for 21 days as part of measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus, local media reported on Monday.


Starting on March 17, Ghana banned entry to anyone who has been to a country with more than 200 coronavirus cases in the previous 14 days, unless they were official residents or Ghanaian nationals.

The country closed all borders from March 22 and ordered a mandatory quarantine for anyone who entered the country before midnight that day.


Kenya suspended travel from any country with reported COVID-19 cases.

“Only Kenyan citizens and any foreigners with valid residence permits will be allowed to come in, provided they proceed on self-quarantine,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said.


Libya’s UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli suspended all flights at the Misrata Airport for three weeks. Borders have also been closed.


Starting from March 20, there will be no commercial passenger flights to and from Europe for 30 days. Travellers arriving from affected countries must self-quarantine for 14 days.


Mali will indefinitely suspend flights from countries affected by the virus starting on March 19, except for cargo flights.


On March 14, Morocco said it would halt flights to and from 25 countries, extending an earlier ban that covered China, Spain, Italy, France and Algeria.

The countries affected are Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chad, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Jordan, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania, the Netherlands, Niger, Norway, Oman, Portugal, Senegal, Switzerland, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey and the UAE.


On March 18, the government announced it was restricting entry into the country for travellers from China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, the US, Norway, the UK, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Those coming from high-risk countries are asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

Nigeria expanded its restrictions on March 21 announcing it will close its two main international airports in the cities of Lagos and Abuja from March 23 for one month.

The country also plans to suspend rail services starting on March 23.

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Rwanda on March 22 closed its borders completely, except for goods and cargo and returning citizens, authorities said.

Anyone arriving in Rwanda will be subject to a 14-day quarantine at designated locations.

South Africa

South Africa barred entry to foreign travellers arriving from or transiting through high-risk countries, including Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, France, Switzerland, the US, the UK and China.

South Africans were also advised to cancel or postpone all non-essential foreign travel.

South African Airways announced on March 20 it would suspend international flights until May 31.


On March 16, Sudan closed all airports, ports and land crossings. Only humanitarian, commercial and technical support shipments were excluded from the restrictions.


Tunisia, which declared 24 cases of the virus, closed mosques, cafes and markets, closed its land borders and suspended international flights on March 16.

Tunisia also imposed a curfew from 6pm to 6am starting on March 18, Tunisia’s president said, tightening the measures to counter the spread of the coronavirus.

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On March 18, Uganda restricted travel to some of the affected countries such as Italy.

Uganda suspended all passenger planes in and out of the country starting from March 22. Cargo planes will be exempted.


On March 24 the President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa announced that all borders will be closed to human traffic except for returning residents.

Source: Al Jazeera | Image: BBC