COVID-19 Information

Last updated:   [01/20/21]

***  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.

Country-Specific Information

  • Available data indicate that Zambia is experiencing a second wave of the pandemic, driven by a highly contagious and potentially more virulent strain of the virus.  Cases are rising all over Zambia, and Lusaka is currently one of the hotspots.  We strongly recommend reconsidering travel to Zambia at this time.
  • On January 12, 2021, CDC issued an Order requiring all air passengers arriving to the US from a foreign country to get tested no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight. This Order is effective as of January 26, 2021.
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has changed their Travel Health Notice system from a 3-level system to a new 4-level system.  Zambia is considered Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19 in Zambia and advises to avoid all travel to this destination.  The latest CDC guidance can be found here.
  • The U.S. Department of State rates Zambia at Level 3: Reconsider Travel.  Complete up-to-date information can be found here.
  • Please see the fact sheet on the U.S. Government’s Response to COVID-19 in Zambia.

COVID-19 Testing

  • Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Zambia? Yes
  • If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes
  • Many private hospitals and government facilities perform COVID-19 tests.  Three sites are provided below.  It is recommended that you call the institution to confirm availability.
    • CIDRZ Central Laboratory – located off Alick Nkhata Road in Kalingalinga, Lusaka. Available for walk-in service.  They offer two service levels, form 2700 K, (or $150) results provided within 24 hours.  For 2300K (or $130) results are provided within 48 hours.  The clinic is open 08:00 to 17:00 Monday to Thursday, 08:00 to 14:00 Friday, and 08:00-12:00 Saturday.  Contact +260 975 138 102 for additional information.
    • Medland Hospital – located at Plot 9, Mukonteka Close, Rhodes Park, Lusaka. Telephone: 3111; +260 761 101600.  Tests are available by appointment and cost K2100.00 (U.S dollars not accepted.) Results are provided within 24 hours.  Tests are done on a walk-in basis.  Working hours: 08:00 to 17:00 Monday to Saturday.
    • LANCET Lab – located at Kabelenga Road, Lusaka. Telephone: +260 211 374 800.  24-48 hour results at a cost of K1110. Open for walk-in from 08:00-10:00.
  • Depending on your destination, negative results may need to be taken to a government facility to obtain a travel certificate.  Government facilities include UTH, the Zambia National Health Public Institute, the District Health Office, and the Public Health Office.
  • Holders of COVID-19 tests performed outside of Zambia are not exempt from these requirements.  Even if the test was performed within the previous 72 hours, another test conducted in Zambia will need to be done.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information:

  • Has the government of Zambia approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use? No
  • The United States 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.
  • According to the Director of Infectious Diseases at the Zambian Ministry of Health (MOH), the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines is expected in February. This limited shipment will be used to vaccinate frontline healthcare workers. No timeline has been shared by MOH of when vaccines will become available for public use.
  • Information from the CDC regarding COVID-19 vaccination.

Entry and Exit Requirements

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes
    • For additional information on COVID-19 related guidelines and measures at Zambian airports, please go here.
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes.
    • The current policy of the Zambian government is for testing to be done within seven days prior to traveling to Zambia. However, be aware that many airlines require the testing to be done within 72 hours of traveling. We recommend that you check with your airline for the latest guidance before departure.
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry?  Yes.
    • Zambia has implemented limited screening upon arrival at the international airport in Lusaka.  The screening entails completing COVID-19 risk assessment form and may include using no-touch thermometers (“thermo-scanners”) to check body temperature.   Symptomatic individuals will be required to self-isolated for 14 days and may be asked to submit samples for additional COVID-19 testing.
  • A negative COVID-19 test is not required by the Zambian government to exit Zambia but may be required by airlines in order to board international flights or by countries-of-destination in order to enter their borders.
  • For information regarding visa extensions for residents and/or tourists, please go here.

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
    • As long as travelers to Zambia apply for entry to the country with a negative COVID-19 test conducted within the previous seven days, a mandatory 14-day quarantine will not be enforced.

Transportation Options

  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes
  • Is public transportation operating? Yes
    • Masks are required to be worn in public and on public transportation, although this rule does not appear to be enforced.

Fines for Non-Compliance (if applicable)

  • There are fines for non-compliance, but fines are not being enforced at this time.

Consular Operations

  • The American Citizen Services Section is available for emergency services. Routine services remain suspended.  Please contact acslusaka@state.gov  if you have an emergency.
  • The Visa Section is open for emergency and mission critical cases only. Please contact consularlusaka@state.gov if you have a visa emergency.

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