Ask a COVID-19 Question
Last updated: 2/8/21
*** Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.
- The situation in Burundi with regard to COVID-19 has remained relatively stable throughout the pandemic as compared with other countries in the region. Social distancing and masks are encouraged but not enforced by law and large gatherings can be seen particularly with family, religious and cultural events. There was no national lock down and it has been businesses as normal in many areas of society. For example, soccer matches have continued, as have large-scale group exercises, parties, weddings, and other activities. Burundians have stopped hugging and shaking hands to some extent, and many public venues have handwashing stations installed. Overall, stores have continued to be fairly well-stocked, with the exception of imported fresh produce, which was affected slightly due to the interruption of commercial flights, while locally grown produce remains largely available. Public schools have remained open as well. Melchior Ndadaye International airport reopened on November 8, 2020.
Entry and Exit Requirements:
- Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes, but only through Melchior Ndadaye International Airport. Land and water borders are currently closed except for transporting cargo.
- Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes, within 72 hours of travel.
- Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes
- Visas can be renewed at the Bureau des Migrations, which is the Burundi immigration office.
- U.S. Citizens are required to have a negative PCR test to depart the country? Yes.
- Is a curfew in place? No
- Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No
- Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes, until they receive a negative COVID-19 test result.
- The Ministry of Health expanded prevention measures related to COVID-19 for all travelers arriving to Burundi. Measures are regularly updated and subject to change without notice. All passengers arriving at Bujumbura’s Melchior Ndadaye’s international airport will be transported to designated hotels approved by the Government of Burundi. Travelers must make hotel reservations at Government of Burundi approved quarantine hotel before arriving. Upon arrival, travelers will be tested at the airport for COVID-19. Passengers whose initial test show a negative result will transit, in a shuttle under Burundi police-operated shuttle, to their hotel for a 7 day quarantine period, where there will be strict enforcement of quarantine rules, under supervision of the Burundi police. These travelers will be control tested again on day 6 of their quarantine period and released the following day if the test shows a negative result. Passengers who test positive, at any time, will be transferred to one of the Care Centers for monitoring at their own expense for a period of 14 days or more and required to have two negative control test results before being discharged. The cost of a COVID-19 test is 100$. These measures and the timeline may vary, due to limitations of resources. The Government of Burundi announced that quarantined individuals would also be responsible for the hotel costs of the quarantine. It is advisable, when planning travel to Burundi, to take into account the possibility of additional expenses and lengthy delays due to quarantine procedures.
- Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Burundi? The PCR test is available. The cost of the test is 60,000 Burundian Francs and it is available at the INSP (Institut National de Santé Publique). There is no cost for a test carried out while in country in case of suspected COVID-19 infection.
- If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes.
- If an individual shows a positive test result, they will be transferred to a Care Center for monitoring at their own expense for a period of 14 days or more and required to have two negative control test results before being discharged.
- For information on limited humanitarian exemptions, please review the following page: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-testing-required-us-entry.html
- Humanitarian exemptions to this order will be granted on an extremely limited basis and will only be considered when the country of departure lacks adequate COVID-19 testing capacity. To submit information in support of an exemption, email email@example.com
- Are commercial flights operating? Yes
- Is public transportation operating? Yes
- There are no COVID related rules in place regarding public transport.
Fines for Non-Compliance:
There is no legal obligation to wear a mask, though prevention measures are officially encouraged. The Burundi Ministry of Health did however, issue a communiqué on January 8, 2021, stating that violators of the quarantine or other measures taken to stop the spread of the virus will be punished in accordance with the law.
- The consular section is only processing emergency American Citizen services at this time.
- Visa services are only available for official travel or when determined to be in U.S. national interest.
- More information can be found on the Burundi Ministry of Health website.
- On April 1, 2020 the Ministry of Public Health published a press release calling on the public to follow preventative measures, recommending self-quarantine if you have been in contact with a positive case, yet do not show any symptoms of COVID-19 and to call the toll-free number 117 or consult the nearest health facility, should symptoms appear.
- COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov
- CDC page on COVID-19
- Burundi Country Information and Travel Advisory
- U.S. Embassy Bujumbura, Burundi
+257 22 20 70 00
- U.S. Embassy Bujumbura, along with at least one other embassy in Burundi, is considering creating special repatriation flights for its citizens. The Embassy will utilize the STEP to distribute more information about these flights. If you are interested in repatriating to the United States via a special flight, please follow the instructions here.
- If you are a U.S. citizen or national traveling abroad who would like to receive important information from the embassy about safety conditions in Burundi to help you make informed decisions about your travel plans, to help U.S. Embassy Bujumbura contact you in an emergency, and to help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency, please enroll in Check the Alerts and Messages for U.S. Citizens portion of our webpage for past communications from STEP.