Health Alert: Announcing Repatriation Flight to the United States – U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa (May 16, 2020)

Health Alert: Announcing Repatriation Flight to the United States – U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa (May 16, 2020)

Location: South Africa

Event:  The South African Ministry of Health confirmed 13,524 cases of COVID-19 within its borders.

May 22 Ethiopian Airlines Flight from Cape Town and Johannesburg to Washington, D.C.

We have been notified of a special commercial repatriation flight to the United States operated by Ethiopian Airlines on Friday, May 22.

Flight information:

  • The flight will depart from Johannesburg and Cape Town on Friday, May 22 for Addis Ababa.  Passengers can transfer in Addis Ababa to a flight to Washington Dulles International Airport to arrive on May 23.
  • Passengers will be responsible for onward travel to their final destination in the United States.
  • The cost of the flight ranges from $2200 USD to $3000 USD; final payment will be made directly to the airline.
  • This flight is open to U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (greencard holders).  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;
      • 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.
  • You will be responsible for finding your own transportation to the required assembly point.
  • You do not need to email us to request a travel letter or assembly point details; this information will be distributed to confirmed passengers once flight confirmation and payment are finalized.
  • For any questions regarding baggage allowance or other flight details, please contact Ethiopian Airlines directly after booking.

To confirm your participation in the May 22 Ethiopian Airlines special repatriation flight, you MUST express your interest by completing this form by 8:00 AM, Monday, May 18.  Note that completing the form does not guarantee you a seat.  Please complete the form even if you have filled out a previous form with the U.S. Mission to South Africa – this will confirm your interest in this specific flight only and does not track interest in future flights.

If you have a ticket booked on a different repatriation flight and have specific questions about confirmations, cancellations, refunds, baggage allowance, cost, or anything specific to the flight, please contact the airline directly.

We ask for your patience and that you only email saevacuation@state.gov with specific issues and not general questions about flight possibilities.  Emails asking for general information answered in these alerts delays our response time.

If you have not already done so, please create an account at https://step.state.gov/ and subscribe to alerts to ensure that you receive the most current information affecting US citizens in South Africa.  If we hear of any special repatriation flights that are available to U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent Residents, we will advertise them only through STEP.  We are unable to manually track interest through this mailbox.  Additionally, all alerts are posted on our website at za.usembassy.gov.

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 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.

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