Health Alert: Announcing Additional Repatriation Flights via Amsterdam – U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa (May 21, 2020)

Health Alert: Announcing Additional Repatriation Flights via Amsterdam – U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa (May 21, 2020)

Location: South Africa

Event:  The South African Ministry of Health has confirmed 18,252 cases of COVID-19 within its borders.

May 22 Ethiopian Airlines Flight

If you have booked a ticket for this special repatriation flight and have not yet received a travel letter and assembly point instructions, please email saevacuation@state.gov as soon as possible.  If you registered interest in this flight before the May 18 deadline and we have already submitted your names to DIRCO, we strongly urge you to take advantage of this opportunity if you desire to return to the United States.  Please contact Ethiopian Airlines directly immediately.  Please note that if you did NOT fill out the form to register your interest in the May 22 Ethiopian Airlines flight prior to the May 18deadline, unfortunately Ethiopian cannot add you to this flight.  Due to Government of South Africa requirements, passenger name lists must be submitted to DIRCO 72 hours in advance of any repatriation flight.

Announcing KLM Special Repatriation Flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg to Amsterdam

We have been notified that KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, in coordination with the Dutch Embassy in South Africa, is coordinating two special repatriation flights departing on May 29 and 30.  U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents are eligible for this flight solely for the purpose of transiting through Amsterdam.  Non-EU and Schengen state citizens must have an onward ticket from Amsterdam in order to board this flight, unless you have a residency permit for an EU or Schengen state country.  Please note, U.S. visa holders of any kind will not be eligible for admission to the United States after transit in the EU.

Flight information:

  • Flights will depart from Cape Town on Friday, May 29, and from Johannesburg on Saturday, May 30 to Amsterdam.
  • To book a ticket, you must contact KLM directly.  Bookings can only be made through KLM’s Sales and Service Centre via phone at: +27(0)10 205 0101, daily between 09:00 – 16:00.  You do not need to notify us that you purchased a ticket; we will coordinate with the airline directly.
  • U.S. citizen and LPR passengers are eligible to transit through the airport but will not be allowed to enter the Netherlands and must have a connecting flight.
  • Passengers will be responsible for onward travel to their final destination in the United States.
  • For any questions regarding price, payment, baggage allowance, seats, and other flight details, please contact KLM directly.
  • You do not need to email the U.S. Mission to South Africa to request a “laissez-passer” travel letter; these will be distributed as soon as possible after KLM sends us a confirmed passenger list.
  • Once KLM has a final manifest, passengers will receive all information about the assembly point, time schedule, and other relevant info from the Dutch Embassy.  We thank you for your patience and ask that you do not email asking for this information.
  • You will be responsible for finding your own transportation to the required assembly point.
  • Please note that, per South Africa government regulations, the only South African citizens who will be allowed to board are:

o   A South African married to a foreigner, whose foreigner spouse is already in the country of residence;

o   A South African who has dual citizenship;

o   A South African who is a Permanent Resident in a foreign country; and

o   People who have left their families abroad and are travelling to re-join.

o   Please note the South African government has notified us that South African citizens who are immigrant visa holders are not eligible.

o   The South African government has informed us that other than the categories above, South African citizens will not be granted exceptions to travel.

U.S. Mission Repatriation Efforts

If you would like to depart South Africa, we highly recommend you avail yourself of any available opportunity, even if it is not your desired flight route.  We cannot guarantee special repatriation flights will continue, nor can we guarantee that currently scheduled flights will depart as planned.  We have no information on when South African government lockdown restrictions will end or when commercial flights will resume.

To date, the U.S. Mission to South Africa has coordinated on eight repatriation flights with many airline and friendly mission partners since the government lockdown, returning over 1250 U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, and visa holders to the United States.  We will continue to advertise any information we receive about special repatriation flights via STEP.

Please see all past alerts at the U.S. Embassy website: https://za.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/security-and-travel-information//.

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 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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