US Embassy offers to evacuate American nationals from South Africa

By Shani Reddy 1 April 2020
A passenger at the departures lounge of the Cape Town International Airport. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Kim Ludbrook)

However, the US embassy warns that American citizens should be prepared to stay in the US for an undetermined amount of time.

In a recent statement, the US Embassy and Consulates in South Africa said that they are “committed to facilitating the return of all US citizens who wish to return”.

US citizens will be required to pay for their own flights should an opportunity to return present itself. The cost of these flights will depend on whether they are commercial or chartered.

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 3 Travel Notice for South Africa. This means that US citizens will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return to the United States.

Depending on your financial and personal situation, dedicated hotels and guesthouses are offering shelter (at your own cost) for US citizens and other foreign nationals. However, the embassy warns that citizens should be prepared to stay for an undetermined amount of time.

To avoid information confusions, the embassy has created a dedicated email address for US citizens to ask questions relating to the evacuation.

American nationals are required to fill out an information request form should they wish to depart on an evacuation flight.

US citizens are also encouraged to register for the Smart Traveller Enrolment Program (STEP), which provides updates and announcements to the American community in South Africa.

For more information, you can visit the embassy website. DM

If you are showing symptoms such as a dry cough, fever or have difficulty breathing, arrange for a virtual or telephonic consultation with your healthcare provider. Alternatively, you can call the national coronavirus hotline (which operates 24/7) on 0800 029 999


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