COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information

Last updated: [13/June/2022]

As of 12:01 a.m. EDT June 12, 2022, the CDC order requiring all persons aged two and above to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States, is rescinded.  Starting at 12:01 a.m. EDT on June 12, 2022, the CDC will no longer order air passengers to show a negative COVID-19 test result, or show documentation of recovery from COVID-19, prior to boarding a flight to the United States.  Of note, CDC’s Order requiring proof of vaccination for non-U.S. citizen nonimmigrants to travel to the United States is still in effect.  For more information see Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Air Passengers.

Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions 

 

Country-Specific Information

  • The situation in Burundi regarding COVID-19 has remained relatively stable throughout the pandemic compared to other countries in the region.  Measures such as social distancing and masks are encouraged, but not always followed. Masks are currently required while using public transportation, and there is a fine for non-compliance.  There has been no national lockdown, and it has been business as normal in many areas of society.  Melchior Ndadaye International Airport in Bujumbura has been open since November 8, 2020.
  • Please note that the Burundian government requires a negative PCR test from INSP (the Institut National de Santé Publique) and proof of payment for the test at INSP to leave the country. There are no exceptions to this rule even if you are vaccinated, are not exhibiting symptoms, test negative elsewhere, or do not receive your test results in time for your departing flight. You will not be able to leave until you can produce a negative test result from INSP within 72 hours of your scheduled departure and provide proof of your payment for the test. The U.S. Embassy cannot help you exit Burundi without it. Please recognize that if you test positive, you may have to stay in Burundi for an extended period until you test negative. The government does not accept a certificate of recovery in lieu of a negative PCR test from INSP.
  • Be prepared for very significant delays in your return trip if you test positive. This may result in unexpected meal, lodging, health, and travel costs. If you have concerns about your safety or are unable to meet the financial burden of changes to your travel plans, please contact bujumburac@state.gov or +257 22 20 7000.  Please recognize that the U.S. Embassy is NOT able to help you depart if you do not meet the Burundian government’s exit requirements.
  • There are no direct flights between Burundi and the U.S. Please pay careful attention to your itinerary as each transit country may have its own COVID-19 protocols. Some countries require that all travelers be vaccinated for COVID-19. If you do not meet the requirements of the transit country, you may not be able to board your flight even if your meet the requirements of Burundi and the U.S.

COVID-19 Testing

  • Are either PCR or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Burundi? Yes
  • If so, are test results reliably available within one calendar day? It is best to go early in the morning the day before your flight and emphasize that you are flying to the U.S., which requires a test taken the day before departure.
    • You need to make an appointment for the PCR test, which is the only test acceptable by the Burundian government to depart Burundi. Schedule the appointment here. There is a flag in the top right-hand corner to change the language to English if needed.
    • 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. A negative COVID-19 result from INSP is required to leave Burundi.
    • According to the government of Burundi, PCR test results are generally delivered within 24 hours via email, but they cannot guarantee results in this time frame. Travelers may need to call INSP the day of their flight to request that they send the results by e-mail.
    • To meet the CDC entry requirement of a negative test taken the day before departing for the U.S., you can use a self-test (sometimes referred to as home test) that meets the criteria found here under the FAQs. You also have the option of getting tested en route during one of your connections. However, you may need to break up your itinerary.  Also, consider where in the connecting airport testing is available and if you would be able to access it while in transit. To explore this option further, contact your airline. This does NOT change Burundi’s requirement to depart with a negative COVID-19 test from INSP within 72 hours of departure.
    • The CDC will consider exemptions from its testing requirement on an extremely limited basis.  Please contact your nearest embassy or consulate to apply for an exemption and visit the CDC webpage for more information. If you have already been tested within CDC’s time frame, but have yet to receive the results, consider including that information in your request. However, to leave Burundi, travelers will still need a negative-COVID 19 test taken within 72 hours of departure.
    • Those who test positive for COVID-19 at INSP will be requested to quarantine at home after obtaining a treatment kit from one of the designated test centers provided by the Ministry of Health. There is no way to leave Burundi without a negative COVID-19 test result from INSP.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information:

  • Has the government of Burundi approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use?  Yes
    • Are vaccines available in Burundi for U.S. citizens to receive? Yes 
      • If you wish to be vaccinated, follow this link to secure an appointment
  • Which vaccines are available in Burundi? Sinopharm and Johnson & Johnson.
    • Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.
    • The U.S. government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas.  Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.

Entry and Exit Requirements

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes
    • The test must be done within 72 hours of boarding a plane to Bujumbura.
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes
    • All travelers must take a COVID-19 test upon arrival. The cost is $100.
    • Visas can be renewed at the Bureau des Migrations, which is the Burundi immigration office.
    • Travelers are also required to have a negative PCR test to depart the country.

Movement Restrictions

  • Is a curfew in place? No
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No

Quarantine Information 

  •  Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? No
    • Every traveler arriving in Burundi will no longer be required to undergo a mandatory three-day quarantine. Instead, travelers will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and must then confine themselves at home or at a hotel of their choice while awaiting the test results, which they will receive within 24 hours of testing.  Those who test positive for COVID-19 will be requested to quarantine at home after obtaining a treatment kit from one of the designated test centers provided by the Ministry of Health.  Additionally, land borders between Burundi and Tanzania were reopened as of June 14, 2021, and passengers arriving by land will be tested in the same way as those arriving by air.

Transportation Options

  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes
  • Is public transportation operating? Yes
    • Masks are required for patrons and providers of public transport.  However, this requirement is rarely enforced in practice.

Fines for Non-Compliance (if applicable)

  • There is no legal obligation to wear a mask, but prevention measures are officially encouraged.  The Burundi Ministry of Health did, however, issue a communiquéon 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.

Consular Operations

  • The consular section is processing routine American Citizen services by appointment only. Please follow this link to learn more about the different services. Visa interviews are also available by appointment.

Local Resources:

  • More information can be found on the Burundi Ministry of Health website and https://cousp-minisante.gov.bi/
  • On April 1, 2020, the Ministry of Public Health published a press release calling on the public to follow preventative measures.  The Ministry recommends self-quarantine if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, but you have yet to show any symptoms.  Should symptoms appear, please call the toll-free number 117 or consult the nearest health facility.

Other links:    

Assistance:

  • U.S. Embassy Bujumbura, Burundi
    +257 22 20 70 00
    BujumburaC@state.gov
  • 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.