Message to American Citizens Regarding National Lockdown

March 23, 2020

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, tonight South African President Ramaphosa announced a 21-day lockdown effective midnight on Thursday, March 26, 2020, for all of South Africa. Most private Individuals will only be allowed to leave their homes under very controlled circumstances, including to seek medical care, buy food, or buy medicine.

Additionally, the President announced that all international travelers arriving from high-risk countries including the United States, after March 9 will be confined to their hotels until the end of their 14-day quarantine.

The full text of the speech can be found here: http://www.thepresidency.gov.za/speeches/statement-president-cyril-ramaphosa-escalation-measures-combat-covid-19-epidemic%2C-union

We understand this raises many questions for U.S. citizens in South Africa, both those wishing to return to the United States and those planning to stay. We are in close contact with our Department of International Relations and Cooperation and Department of Home Affairs counterparts and will be pushing out more information in the coming days on exactly what this means for our U.S. citizens in South Africa.

If you wish to depart South Africa, please continue to work with your airline or travel agency to book a commercial flight as soon as possible. If you intend to stay in South Africa, we recommend citizens prepare to manage you and your family’s needs during the lockdown.

Please continue to check our website and travel.state.gov for updated information, and enroll in STEP to get our alerts.