Health Alert: Update on Special Repatriation Flights – U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa (May 14, 2020)

Health Alert: Update on Special Repatriation Flights – U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa (May 14, 2020)

Location: South Africa

Event:  The South African Ministry of Health confirmed 12,074 cases of COVID-19 within its borders.

May 16 Qatar Airways and May 17 SAA Flights

The airlines have notified us that these flights have been sold out.  The airlines are working directly with customers on ticketing for the flights.  These special repatriation flights are organized by the respective airlines and are not U.S. government-coordinated flights, and the U.S. Mission did not compile or prioritize the passenger lists but did work with the airlines to clear the passenger lists.  If you have a ticket booked on one of these flights and have specific questions about baggage allowance, cost, or anything specific to the flight, please contact the airline directly.  Otherwise, please wait until we have coordinated with the Government of South Africa and the airline to complete the passenger list clearance process after which we will create and distribute travel letters for confirmed passengers.  You do not need to email us to request a travel letter; they will be distributed as soon as possible once the passenger list is finalized.

We continue to work with airlines for repatriation opportunities for our citizen community and we hope to be able to announce upcoming opportunities in the coming days.  We want you to know that we’ve heard your questions and concerns as the lockdown was extended and future commercial flights continue to be canceled.  We understand there is a lot of uncertainty during this time and we are doing everything we can to seek clarity and pass on the latest information we have.

We will continue to follow every lead and pursue every option for repatriating U.S. citizens to the United States, announcing any opportunity through STEP alerts.

We ask for your patience as we work on options and ask that you only email with specific issues and not general questions about flight possibilities.  We have made a commitment to respond to every specific question, and emails asking for general information answered in these alerts delays our response time and takes us away from working on flight opportunities.

Please see all past alerts at the U.S. Embassy website:

If you are a U.S. citizen in South Africa and your visa is expiring, please see the Department of Home Affairs announcement regarding measures put in place to address these concerns.  We are unable to answer questions about visa extensions or when DHA will reopen.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Notice for South Africa.

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Operating Status:  Effective March 26, 2020, U.S. Consulates General Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban have suspended routine consular services.  For emergency American Citizens Services, including emergency passports, please visit our websites for additional information.