Foreign travel advice

Malawi

Important COVID-19 Travel

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not travel, including abroad, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays and other leisure purposes.

Check the rules that apply to you in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you intend to travel to the UK from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.

Before you return to the UK you must provide your journey and contact details. You must self-isolate when you enter the UK from any foreign country except Ireland, unless you have a valid exemption.

When you enter England from abroad (except Ireland), you must follow the new requirements for quarantining and taking additional COVID-19 tests. For those travelling from a country on the banned travel list you will be required to quarantine in a hotel. Different rules apply for arrivals into England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you are legally permitted to travel abroad, check our advice on your country of destination. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning.

Summary

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 England 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 rules 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 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:

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.