Foreign travel advice

Zimbabwe

Important COVID-19 Travel

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays or leisure purposes. Check the rules in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Do not travel unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. In England, from 8 March you must complete a declaration form for international travel (except for travel to Ireland).

Check our advice for all the countries you will visit or transit through. Some countries have closed borders, and any country may further restrict travel or bring in new rules with little warning.

To enter or return to the UK from abroad (except from Ireland), you must follow all the rules for entering the UK. These include providing your journey and contact details, and evidence of a negative COVID-19 test before you travel. When you arrive, you must quarantine and take additional COVID-19 tests. This will take place in a managed quarantine hotel if you enter England from a red list travel ban country, or enter Scotland.

Summary

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:

  • the whole of Zimbabwe based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

From 9 January, visitors arriving into England who have been in or transited through Zimbabwe 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 Zimbabwe 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 Zimbabwe 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.

Travel to Zimbabwe is subject to entry restrictions

  • Zimbabwe opened its land borders and international airports to tourists in addition to Zimbabwean nationals and valid permit holders on 1 December 2020.
  • Tourists and non-residents entering Zimbabwe must possess a negative COVID-19 test result, issued no more than 48 hours before their arrival at the border. If you are not a Zimbabwean citizen or resident and you do not have a negative test result, or if you exhibit COVID-19 symptoms on arrival, you will be denied entry into Zimbabwe.

  • People arriving in Zimbabwe are subject to a 14-day quarantine period. If you arrive with a negative COVID-19 test issued within 48 hours of arrival, or test negative at the airport, you may self-isolate at a designated address. If you test positive for COVID-19 at the airport, you will have to quarantine in a government-approved facility.

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 Zimbabwe, 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 your cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.

In Zimbabwe, there is a curfew between 10pm and 5:30am, which is being enforced by the security services. The Zimbabwean government has said that restaurants can open for takeaways and bars are closed. Essential services such as hospitals, pharmacies and supermarkets remain open between 8am and 7pm only. Tourist facilities and National Parks remain open subject to COVID-19 safety measures.

You should avoid any political gatherings or demonstrations. These can be unpredictable, can turn violent without notice and the response from the security forces may be disproportionate. You should exercise a high degree of caution and monitor local media and this travel advice for updates.

Taking photographs of members of police and armed forces personnel and of demonstrations and protests is not permitted. You should avoid political activity, or activities which could be considered political, including political discussions in public places. Ensure you carry identification, so that you can produce it if required to do so by the security forces. See Political situation

Zimbabwe’s economic situation remains unpredictable. Whilst the primary legal tender in Zimbabwe is the “Zimbabwe Dollar”, it is currently possible for tourists to transact using the US Dollar at the official exchange rate. This may change without notice. There is a shortage of physical cash and it’s currently not possible to make cash withdrawals using an international bank card. You should check with your tour operator or hotel what payment methods will be accepted. See Money

Zimbabwe is currently experiencing some electricity shortages resulting in extended periods without power. During blackouts, you should exercise a high degree of caution when driving as traffic lights may not be operational. Water rationing is being experienced in certain parts of the country. Contact your tour operator or hotel for latest updates.

Availability of fuel is sporadic and queues are common. You are advised to check in advance if you can make payment with an international payment card. See Road travel

There’s a moderate level of crime in Zimbabwe. Remain vigilant, especially after dark, and make sure accommodation and vehicles are secure. See Safety and security

Always carry identity documentation or a copy of your passport. See Local laws and customs

Holiday and business visas are available at the port of entry. Don’t violate the conditions of your visa. See Visas

Dual British-Zimbabwean nationals who travel to Zimbabwe must have a valid travel document to re-enter the United Kingdom. It’s not possible to re-enter the UK using a Zimbabwean passport or emergency travel document without a visa or entry clearance endorsed. See Dual nationals

Air Zimbabwe has been refused permission to operate flights to the EU because the airline has been unable to demonstrate that it complies with international air safety standards. British government employees travelling to and within Zimbabwe have been advised to use carriers that aren’t subject to the EU operating ban. See Air travel

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Zimbabwe, 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.