Health Alert: U.S. Embassy Praia, Cabo Verde (April 17, 2020)
Location: Cabo Verde
Event: New Confirmed COVID-19 Case in Praia/Planning for POTENTIAL Boston Flight Delayed
New COVID-19 Case in Praia
On April 17, the Government of Cabo Verde confirmed a new COVID-19 case in Praia: a 43-year-old male living in the Ponta d´Agua neighborhood. This is the fourth case on the island of Santiago, but the first outside the family of the three original cases. The Ministry of Health is taking measures to identify and monitor contacts of the patient. According to the Cabo Verdean government, there have been 56 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country. Additional information is available at https://covid19.cv.
State of Emergency
Cabo Verde’s state of emergency has been extended until May 2, 2020, for Boa Vista, Santiago, and Sao Vicente, the three islands with confirmed cases of COVID-19. For islands with no known cases – Santo Antão, São Nicolau, Sal, Maio, Fogo, and Brava – the state of emergency has only been extended until April 26, 2020. 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 current restrictions, which include limitations on the use of personal vehicles and the number of people who may travel together.
New Restrictions on Inter-island Travel
In response to the dramatic increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Boa Vista, which now stands at more than 45, the Prime Minister announced that the only exception to the current ban on inter-island movement of people is for those who are returning home to another island after being unable to travel due to the state of emergency. Those requesting this exception to the travel ban also require testing to ensure they do not pose a risk to public health.
Update on Final Charter Flight Opportunity – New Dates
Due to the new heightened restrictions on inter-island travel, planning for a multi-island charter repatriation flight to Boston has been pushed back to the week of April 27. Seats on the flight, which is envisioned as the last repatriation operation to be undertaken by the U.S. government in Cabo Verde, would be made available to U.S. citizens and LPRs, and potentially to third-country nationals eligible for Visa Waiver entry into the United States (e.g., Canadian citizens) and holders of a valid U.S. immigrant visa. The cost of the one-way ticket for this flight would be approximately: Adult – $1604.25; Child – $1259.75; Infant – $151.85, with all passengers required to sign a promissory note to reimburse the U.S. government for the cost of the flight
If you are interested in being included on this potential flight, please email PraiaRepatriation@state.gov using the subject line “Last Charter to the U.S.” and providing the following for each person in your traveling party:
- Full Name
- Identity Document Number(s) (Passport, LPR “green” card, immigrant visa)
- Current Location in Cabo Verde (city and island)
- Cabo Verde Phone Number
If you have not already done so, please also complete and submit this secure form. (NOTE: If you have already submitted this information using the secure form, you do not need to do so again.) Interested parties should also verify that their travel documents have not expired and remain current and valid for travel.
Please do not call the Embassy to confirm receipt of your email; we will contact you with additional details if this flight is confirmed. If you have already received confirmation you on the list, you do not need to send an email to reconfirm. Also, interested parties should refrain from appearing in person at the Embassy, which is closed to the public in compliance with regulations under the current state of emergency.
Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, U.S. Embassy Praia has organized five charter repatriation flights enabling 399 U.S. citizens and others to return safely to the United States. Please be aware, however, that these repatriation efforts are now winding down. The U.S. Embassy urges all U.S. citizens who are unsure about wanting to go home to err toward returning NOW. Otherwise, they need to be prepared to shelter-in-place for an indefinite period of time, even should the local situation take a turn for the worse.
STEP and Emergency Consular Services
Announcements regarding 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.
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 PraiaConsular@state.gov.
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”).
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.
Actions to Take:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive updates from the Embassy.
- Complete and submit this secure form for U.S. citizens, LPRs, and other eligible individuals needing repatriation assistance from Cabo Verde to the United States.
- Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
- Consider What the U.S. Government Can and Can’t for Citizens in a Crisis.
- View President Trump’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America.
- For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
- Check with your airline, cruise line, or travel operator regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
- Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Cabo Verde.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.