Following concerns about increased risk of new variants being imported into the country, Tanzania has announced new protective measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 across the country. Government officials have previously taken few measures to contain the disease, instead promoting prayer and herbal remedies to treat the illness. This has drawn criticism from opposition leaders and the international community and marks a step change in policy following the death of the late President Magalufi.
The new requirements are as follows:
Proof of a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours before entry;
Those arriving from countries with a high number of coronavirus infections will also need to pay for an additional rapid test, though it has not been specified how this would be determined;
Those who have visited a country with “new COVID-19 variants” in the previous two weeks will be required to undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine at their own expense; and,
Citizens can isolate at home, while foreigners will need to choose a government facility.
Tanzania has not yet approved vaccines for use. Covid-19 cases are on the rise and placing great strain on medical facilities and resources. The treatment of non Covid-19 related cases are being delayed. Outside Dar es Salaam, hospitals are scarce and lack of access to emergency care could be life threatening.
Some hotels are currently closed but there are currently no restrictions on public gatherings. Further restrictions may follow at short notice. This could yet include the sudden closure of borders. Further pressure on hospitals and clinics is likely to place even greater strain on both emergency and routine medical care.
Those on holiday or overlanding should:
Continue to take precautions to limit exposure to the virus. "Hands / Face / Space";
Monitor the situation closely and make contingency plans;
Seek a Covid vaccination at the earliest opportunity. Ideally do not travel without having had a vaccine and the associated booster;
Carry comprehensive first aid and sterile kits. These medical kits should include both personal and group prescribed medication. Remember to carry copies of relevant prescriptions;
For Overlanders, carriage of a Vehicle Trauma Pack is also strongly recommended; and,
Ensure the terms of your travel insurance, especially international medical evacuation by air in case of Covid -19 are fully understood.
The above equipment and medication is unlikely to help in the event of Covid-19. However it should otherwise provide the wherewithal to treat typical travel and tropical illnesses and injuries without becoming a burden on scarce medical resources in Tanzania.
Map of Tanzania by OpenStreetMap.