Botswana-UPenn Partnership

Travel Guidance for Botswana Amidst COVID-19 Outbreak

NEW UPDATE: March 25, 2020

While Penn's policy prohibiting university-related international travel is still in effect at least until April 17, it is important to stay up to date on restrictions and closures in Botswana. At this time, Botswana does not have any cases of COVID-19, but the following actions have been taken which will inhibit any future travel:

  • University of Botswana announced its closure beginning March 23 through April 24.
  • The university has also placed a temporary ban on international visitors prior to this closure announcement. 
  • Government of Botswana has put in place a travel ban of visitors from high-risk countries, which includes the United States, until further notice.
  • South African Airlines (which many Penn travelers use to get to Botswana) suspended all regional and international flights until May 31.
  • South Africa has also issued a 21 day "stay-at-home" lockdown for the entire country as it tries to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

In light of these restrictions, it is unlikely the any travel to/from Botswana will be possible in the near future. 



DATED: March 10, 2020

As of March 10, all future University-related travel, both domestic and international, is prohibited until at least April 17, unless expressly approved by the Provost. If your departure date to Botswana falls on or before April 17, you must cancel your trip. If your start date is after April 17, your trip does not have to be immediately cancelled, but please keep in mind that this is a tentative end date for the restriction. Over the next month we will continue to monitor the situation. Future Botswana-related updates can be found here on the BUP website. More information and helpful resources can also be found at the Center for Global Health.



DATED: March 3, 2020

BUP and the Center for Global Health have been monitoring COVID-19 closely in coordination with Penn's global support offices, especially in regards to student and trainee travel. As of March 2, all University-affiliated travel to China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea is suspended in accordance with CDC guidance. Currently, there are no travel restrictions to any country in Africa.

In regards to any upcoming travel to Botswana, health checks are being conducted at all ports of entry into Botswana, including the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Gaborone. Travelers entering the country will be screened via temperature measurement and/or visual observation at the port of entry. Those who are healthy and have a normal temperature are able to move along to Immigration as usual. Travelers who might be ill (higher than normal temperature) will be assessed for signs, symptoms and history that may suggest COVID-19 disease, and may be quarantined. Therefore, we advise any unwell travelers to reschedule or cancel their travel before departing for Botswana

While we will update Penn travelers with any new information, we encourage those who are traveling to Botswana in the coming weeks and months to stay up to date as well. Below are some helpful country-specific links:

Additional links and information:

  • Penn's International Travel Registry system keeps travelers connected to Penn resources in the event of an emergency and pre-authorizes Penn's medical insurance coverage
  • Penn’s dedicated website regarding COVID-19 (including airline refund/cancellation policies)
  • WHO recommendations for international traffic in relation to COVID-19 outbreak