Important Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel
In England, you must have a permitted reason to travel abroad and complete the declaration form.
Some countries have closed borders, and any country may further restrict travel or bring in new social distancing rules with little warning. Check our advice for each country you will visit or transit through.
When you return, follow the rules to enter the UK from abroad (except from Ireland).
The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:
- the whole of Malawi based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.
From 9 January 2021, visitors arriving into the UK who have been in or transited through Malawi in the previous 10 days will not be permitted entry. British and Irish nationals, and third country nationals with residence rights in the UK arriving in England from Malawi will be required to quarantine in a hotel. Different requirements apply for arrivals into Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The FCDO is not advising those already travelling in Malawi to leave at this time. Travellers should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect themselves and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus. You should contact your tour operator or airline if you have any questions about your return journey.
From 1 January onwards those with residence rights includes: holders of Indefinite Leave to Remain; holders of existing leave to enter or remain (i.e those with biometric Residence permits) or an entry clearance/visa that grants such leave e.g. students, workers, etc (excluding visit visas); holders of EU Settlement Scheme (“EUSS”) leave; those who have rights of entry under the Withdrawal Agreements (including returning residents with a right of residence under the EEA Regulations and EEA frontier workers); family members of EEA nationals with rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.
Travel to Malawi is subject to entry restrictions
- On 23 December 2020 Malawi closed all its land borders to non-residents until further notice.
Malawi airspace remains open to a limited number of commercial flights.
- All visitors entering Malawi must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the 10 days prior to arrival.
- If you’re eligible for entry, you may also be tested for COVID-19 on arrival at your own expense. Passengers may be required to remain at the airport or a testing centre until their COVID-19 test results are known, usually within 24 hours. Individuals testing positive may be taken for treatment at a government facility. All other individuals will be required to self-monitor for COVID-19 signs and symptoms for 14 days after arrival.
- On exiting Malawi, you must provide a valid “Travel Certificate” showing that a negative COVID-19 test has been taken at a government designated centre within 72 hours of your departure.
- Mandatory COVID-19 testing may also take place on departure if you fail to produce a valid negative test certificate, or if the airport staff judge you to display COVID-19 symptoms. This test will be at your own expense.
See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.
Preparing for your return journey to the UK
If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:
- provide your journey and contact details before you travel
- check if you need to self-isolate on your return
If your return journey to the UK transits another country, you should check whether it is subject to a travel ban or any other additional requirements. If so, contact your travel provider.
Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.
If you’re planning travel to Malawi , find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.
For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.
Most visits to Malawi are trouble-free, but you should take sensible precautions to protect yourself from muggers and bag-snatchers. Most thefts from visitors take place around the main bus stations in Lilongwe and Blantyre. See Crime
You will need a visa to enter Malawi as a visitor. See Visas
Since March 2020 there have been reports of possible incidents of unrest and violence in rural areas of Mulanje, linked to rumours of bloodsuckers. This is further to similar incidents of violence and unrest reported in 2017 and 2018. See Local travel
Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Malawi, attacks can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.