COVID-19 Precautionary Measures in São Tomé and Príncipe (13 April Update)

*Can a resident enter the country? *

  • Yes

  • Citizens and residents are allowed to enter.

*Can a foreigner enter the country? *

  • Yes

  • Foreigners are allowed to enter São Tomé and Príncipe.

*Is a test required on arrival? *

  • No with exceptions

  • On arrival, passengers will have their temperature checked. A rapid test will be conducted if the traveller's temperature is above 38 degrees Celsius.

*Is a test certificate allowed? *

  • Yes

  • Certificates issued in foreign countries are accepted.

*Test certificate required? *

  • Yes

  • All passengers above five years of age must have a negative report of a COVID-19 PCR test performed 72 hours before departure from the embarkation point. On arrival at Sao Tome International Airport, the negative PCR tests, printed on paper, must be presented to authorities for verification.

*Is quarantine required on arrival? *

  • No with exceptions

  • All passengers arriving without a test certificate or having any symptoms of COVID-19 may be assigned to a 14-day quarantine in a residence or a hotel at their own expense.

  • Based on the above restrictions, the traveller may either be exempted from quarantine on meeting the entry requirements or enter a maximum of ‘14’ days in quarantine.

Is a vaccination required?

  • No

  • A vaccination for COVID-19 is not required for entry into the country.

Insurance required?

  • No

  • Proof of insurance coverage for COVID-19 expenses is not required to enter the country.

Airline restrictions

  • Minimal

  • Airports are open for all international commercial flights.

  • Inter-island air links are operating. Domestic travellers will need to present a negative result from a rapid antigen COVID-19 test taken within 24 hours prior to travel. Newborns and children up to two (2) years of age are exempted.

  • All passengers must change their masks every four hours or less and will need to carry enough masks for the entire trip. Only surgical masks are acceptable.

Border restrictions

  • Minimal

  • All borders are open.

  • Cruise ships are allowed to operate with some public health restrictions.

Curfew restrictions

  • Minimal

  • No curfew is in effect. This is subject to change at short notice.

  • A State of Health Calamity is in effect. This entails the enforcement of restrictions and public health measures to limit the spread of the virus.

Social distancing restrictions

  • Minimal

  • People are advised to maintain physical distance (minimum of 1.5 metres) from others and maintain hygiene standards, such as regular hand-washing, sanitizing regularly used areas, and are encouraged to remain home when possible and to avoid large gatherings.

  • Gatherings in public spaces are limited to no more than eight persons except funerals where a maximum of 20 people are allowed.

  • Meetings are limited to 25 people, except National Assembly plenary meetings.

  • Gatherings at funerals should be limited.

Internal travel restrictions

  • Minimal

  • Travel between islands is operating.

  • Public transportation and taxis are allowed to operate with limited passenger capacity.

*Non-essential shops open? *

  • Yes

  • The majority of shops continue to operate, with some restrictions (e.g. reduced opening hours) and coronavirus precautionary measures in place.

*Accommodations open? *

  • Yes with exceptions

  • Some hotels and other accommodation rentals are operating.

*Restaurants open? *

  • Yes with exceptions.

  • Restaurants are open and operating with public health measures in place. Restaurants must close by 17:00 (local time). Takeaway services are allowed from 17:00 until 22:00.

*Bars and cafes open? *

  • Yes with exceptions

  • Bars are open and operating with public health measures in place until 17:00 (local time). Takeaway services are allowed from 17:00 to 22:00.

  • Nightclubs are closed.

Beaches and tourism sites open?

  • Yes with exceptions

  • Only diving and swimming are allowed at beaches.

*Museums and heritage sites open? *

  • Yes

  • Museums, theatres, cultural exhibitions, arts, and libraries are open.

*Places of worship open? *

  • Yes with exceptions.

  • Places of worship are allowed to open with some restrictions (e.g. reduced opening hours) and coronavirus precautionary measures in place.

*Events allowed? *

  • Yes with exceptions

  • Cultural events are allowed at a reduced capacity.

  • Festivals are suspended.

*Masks required in public? *

  • Yes with exceptions

  • Face masks are mandatory for every individual over 10 years in public places as well as in motor vehicles. If only the driver in is the vehicle, no mask is required.


  • Gyms and fitness centers are permitted to open with public health measures in place.

  • Government offices are open with normal staffing.

  • Public services are available between 07:00 to 13:00 (local time).

Advice For Travellers

The COVID-19 epidemic is constantly changing worldwide. Travel and border restrictions may change with little or no notice. Airlines may have their own requirements for testing, masking, and distancing. It is recommended that travellers carry a supply of face masks since the requirement can vary by location. It is recommended that travellers practice social distancing and maintain a 6-foot distance from other individuals and avoid crowded areas. Check with your airline, booking agent, or country's embassy for information on your specific travel plans.