Health Alert: Repatriation Flight Interest Request (April 8, 2020 | 9:00 )

Location: South Africa

 Event:   Repatriation Flight Interest Request

The South African Ministry of Health has confirmed 1749cases of COVID-19 within its borders.

We can now announce that repatriation flights have been confirmed for this week. On Thursday, April 9, we will have departures from Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban. On Friday, April 10, we will have an additional flight from Cape Town. If you have signed up for the repatriation flight, you will receive an individual email with a travel letter and instructions. Please remember that evacuation flights are not free-of-charge and are, in fact, frequently more expensive than currently available commercial travel; you will be required to sign a promissory note guaranteeing future payment to the U.S. Government if you travel on a charter flight. The current round of repatriation flights being planned may be the last. If you wish to repatriate to the United States, please travel now or be prepared wait until commercial flights resume in the future. We are not able to say when commercial flights will resume or if the South African lockdown will be extended.

If you are a U.S. citizen who currently seeks to depart South Africa and would like to depart on a flight to the United States if available, please click here and complete the information request form.  If you are travelling with others, you must complete the form for each person in your group.  Entering your data into this form will add you to a list to get separate emails with flight information and logistics.  If you have already completed this form or emailed your information to us, please do not complete it again.  Evacuation flights are not free-of-charge and are, in fact, frequently more expensive than currently available commercial travel; you will be required to sign a promissory note guaranteeing future payment to the U.S. Government if you travel on a charter flight. If you have completed the form but have not received informational emails from SAevacuation@state.gov, please check your SPAM folder.

We apologize if you have received this message more than once. We continue to send out messages daily to ensure that it gets to anyone newly enrolled in STEP. If you no longer wish to receive these messages, please update your STEP profile on travel.state.gov; we are unable to manually remove you from this list.

Please consider the following information:

  1. You should be aware that if an opportunity to return presents itself, it could be through either commercial means or a chartered flight. You should also be aware that this option may be more expensive than a normal discounted airfare.  We do not have a specific cost estimate.
  2.  Any repatriation flight(s) from South Africa to the United States of America can only depart from O.R Tambo airport in Johannesburg, Cape Town International, and King Shaka airport in Durban per Government of South Africa regulations relating to the “Lockdown.”  Once specific flight details are confirmed, we will communicate those to you with instructions on how to book the travel.  You will need to make your own way to the designated assembly point.
  3. You will be responsible for onward travel from the arrival location in the United States, which will most likely be somewhere on the east coast.
  4. We are committed to facilitating the return of all U.S. citizens who wish to return.  Depending on your personal/financial situation and support network in South Africa, sheltering in place may be an option; however, you should be prepared to do so for an undetermined amount of time.
  5. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Global Level 3 Travel Notice meaning you would be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return to the United States.  Please see this DHS video for more information.
  6. If you haven’t already, please go to travel.state.gov and enroll yourself in the STEP Program.

Quarantine Information

U.S. citizens who arrived in South Africa from any of the banned countries after March 9, 2020, are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

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

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