Coronavirus travel health
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Malawi on the TravelHealthPro website
See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commercial flights to and from Malawi may be subject to short-notice change. Check with your travel company for the latest information.
Malawi airspace remains open to a limited number of commercial flights.
All travellers wishing to leave Malawi are required to produce a negative PCR test obtained within 72 hours prior to departure from Malawi. Digital verification of COVID-19 certificates has also been introduced, in line with the Africa CDC’s Trusted Travel framework.
Entry and borders
See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Malawi.
Everyone should comply with the measures put in place in Malawi to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Returning to the UK
Travelling from and returning to the UK
Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting. If you will pass through a red list country, book your hotel quarantine package before travelling to the UK.
You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements.
Be prepared for your plans to change
No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.
If you test positive for COVID-19 you will need to self-quarantine either at home if you are resident in Malawi, or a Government Treatment Centre if you are a visitor. You will be responsible for paying any costs. If self-isolating at home, government officials will regularly check that you are not breaking the terms of self-isolation. People under the age of 18 are treated the same as adults.
Plan ahead and make sure you:
- can access money
- understand what your insurance will cover
- can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned
Travel in Malawi
Public transport continues to operate throughout Malawi with some restrictions and COVID-19 related measures in place. Face coverings in public are mandatory.
Hotels and private rentals continue to operate with some restrictions and coronavirus precautionary measures in place. We advise that you contact your accommodation provider before booking to confirm what restrictions are in place.
Public places and services
Gatherings of more than 50 people are banned. The majority of shops, banks and restaurants continue to operate, with some restrictions and coronavirus precautionary measures in place. Hand washing is compulsory before entering shops, banks, restaurants, bars, etc. Face coverings in public are compulsory.
Healthcare in Malawi
If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms:
- You should stay at home. If you are residing in a hotel or lodge please inform hotel management or your tour operator.
- If you need to seek medical attention call the toll free number +265 887 371 288 or the District Health Office +265 999934523 (Lilongwe) or +265 999520319 (Blantyre). A full list of contacts can be found on the Ministry of Health Facebook page.
- If you test positive for COVID-19 you will need to self-quarantine and may be transferred to a Government Treatment Centre.
For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.
General medical facilities throughout Malawi are unable to provide the same standard of healthcare as in the UK, with sophisticated equipment and intensive care facilities being very limited. View Health for further details on healthcare in Malawi.
Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health.
See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.
COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Malawi
Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live. We will update this page when the Government of Malawi announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.
The Malawian national vaccination programme started in March 2021 and is currently using the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. British nationals resident in Malawi are eligible for vaccination subject to the priority groups set out in Malawi’s National Vaccine Deployment Plan (NVDP) will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Access to the COVID-19 vaccine can be obtained through a range of vaccination centres and health facilities across the country, for further information please see the Malawi Ministry of Health Facebook page. For registration, you will need to provide proof, in the form of passport or medical records, that you are eligible for the first phase of Malawi’s vaccine programme. On-the-spot registration is required after verification of age and/or presence of co-morbidities conditions has been established. Your local healthcare provider should be able to provide you with further information.
Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.
If you’re a British national living in Malawi, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.
If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.