Health Alert: Action Required for U.S. Citizens Interested in a Repatriation Flight

Health Alert:  U.S. Embassy Praia, Cabo Verde (April 2, 2020)

Location:  Praia, Cabo Verde

Event:  Action Required for U.S. Citizens Interested in a Repatriation Flight

The U.S. Embassy continues to explore all options for repatriating U.S. citizens to the United States, including those citizens located on islands other than Santiago; however, due to the Government of Cabo Verde’s current restrictions on inter-island travel, the U.S. Embassy is severely limited in its ability to assist citizens on islands outside of Santiago.  While the Embassy continues to explore all available option for U.S. citizens to return to the United States, U.S. citizens should be prepared to shelter in place.

Update on Latest Repatriation Efforts

The U.S. government is working to organize repatriation flights for U.S. citizens in certain West African countries, which would include limited space-available seating for passengers in Praia, Cabo Verde.  These flights are projected to take place between April 4-7.  At this time, the Embassy is uncertain if there will be additional special repatriation flight options after April 7.  To register interest in these or future POSSIBLE flights, U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) must complete and submit this secure form.  Even if you have already contacted the U.S. Embassy by telephone or provided the requested information by email prior to today, we ask that you resubmit it using the new secure form.  If you have already submitted this information through the secure form, you do not need to do so again. 

Potential Flight Logistics

These repatriation flights would depart from Praia International Airport and arrive at Washington Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia.  Travelers would be responsible for any arrangements or costs (lodging, onward destination or local transportation, etc.) beyond the initial destination in the United States.

In the event these repatriation flights become available, the U.S. Embassy would provide final passengers with logistical information, including the confirmed departure date and time, how the space-availability will be managed, and the cost per seat.  It is important to note that these seats are traditionally made available first to U.S. citizens and, space permitting, for qualifying non-citizen dependents. Passengers would be required to sign a promissory note agreeing to repay the cost of the flight to the U.S. government after their return to the United States.  While we do not yet have a final per-seat cost, we estimate it will be in the range of $1,200-$1,900 (U.S. dollars).  Please note you will not be able to renew your passport until the debt to the U.S. government is paid.

Register for STEP and Follow Embassy Platforms for Updates

Announcements regarding charter repatriations are shared as soon as they are available via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which is the Embassy’s primary means for communicating this information with American citizens, as well as on the Embassy’s internet site and Facebook page.  We urge any U.S. citizen or LPR seeking assistance to return to the United States to enroll in STEP as soon as possible, or ensure that their current enrollment remains up to date, so that they have immediate access to the latest information.

Latest COVID-19 Updates for Cabo Verde

On March 28, the Government of Cabo Verde implemented a national state of emergency.  Under the state of emergency, in addition to the previous suspension of both international and inter-island air and maritime passenger travel, individuals are also restricted from using personal vehicles.  In addition, the government has stated that no more than two people may travel together (except a parent accompanying minor children) and has prohibited religious ceremonies.  U.S. citizens are reminded that the national state of emergency and all Cabo Verdean laws apply to them, and U.S. citizens could be arrested or have their vehicles confiscated if they fail to abide by the restrictions imposed under the national state of emergency.

The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Global COVID-19 Outbreak Notice (“Avoid Nonessential Travel—Widespread Ongoing Transmission”).

Contacting Embassy Praia Consular Section

Effective March 19, 2020, U.S. Embassy Praia has suspended routine consular services.  For emergency American Citizen Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website for additional information or contact us at

For emergency American Citizen Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website for additional information or contact us at

Note:  This information will continue to be sent regularly for the benefit of new registrants in STEP.  We will be sure to highlight any new information from previous emails.

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