Health Alert: U.S. Embassy Praia, Cabo Verde (May 23, 2020)
Location: Cabo Verde
Event: Repatriation Flight Planned for Sal, Mindelo, and Praia on Thursday, May 28
U.S. Embassy Praia is organizing a final repatriation flight to Boston on Thursday, May 28, with pick-ups in Sal and Mindelo before departing from Praia. The cost of the one-way ticket for this flight is approximately: Adult – $1604.25; Child – $1259.75; Infant – $151.85. All passengers will be required to disembark in Praia to go through security screening and sign a DS-5528 promissory note to reimburse the U.S. government for the cost of the flight. Passengers will receive an invoice 6-10 weeks after their arrival in the United States, and will then have 30 days to submit payment or establish an installment plan. (Please note that the date and routing of the flight are subject to change, and that all passengers will be required to arrange and pay for their own onward travel.)
U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs), and other qualified travelers (e.g., third-country nationals and holders of a valid U.S. immigrant visa) must provide the information requested below before Monday, May 25 to be included on the flight. Confirmed passengers will receive an email from the Embassy with full flight details. Only passengers with a confirmation email should go to the airport and will be allowed entry to the facility.
Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, U.S. Embassy Praia has organized eight charter repatriation flights enabling more than 400 U.S. citizens and others to return safely to the United States. Please be aware, however, that these repatriation efforts are now coming to an end. 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.
Inter-island Travel to Access Repatriation Flight
As of May 11, limited passenger maritime transportation resumed between some islands. For the available schedule, please visit https://www.cvinterilhas.cv/routesschedules. There are currently no commercial inter-island flights operating.
Individuals traveling from other islands to Sal, São Vicente (Mindelo), or Santiago (Praia) for the flight are responsible for arranging and paying for their own ferry transportation and overnight accommodations, if needed. For confirmed passengers traveling by ferry from Brava and Fogo to Praia for the flight, U.S. Embassy Praia will submit a “Request for Travel Authorization” to the Government of Cabo Verde on their behalf by Monday, May 25.
At this time, the Cabo Verdean government is not granting travel authorization for individuals to depart Boa Vista to take this flight. Individuals on Boa Vista should continue to shelter in place, but if this situation should change before the flight, the Embassy will contact those on Boa Vista who have requested repatriation assistance.
In order to be considered for this flight, you must take the following actions:
Step 1: Complete the DS-5528 form online. If you have already submitted this form, you do not need to do so again. (We will have hard copies of these forms printed and ready for signature at the airport in Praia.)
Step 2: Email PraiaRepatriation@state.gov confirming you want to take the May 28 flight. You must include the following information in the email:
- First Name
- Middle Name
- Date of Birth (DD-MMM-YY)
- Passport Number
- Passport Issuing Country
- Passport Issuing Date
- Passport Expiration Date
- Green Card Number (if applicable)
- Green Card Expiration Date (if applicable)
- Visa Number (if applicable)
- Visa Expiration Date (if applicable)
- Current Telephone Number
- Current Location in Cabo Verde
- Departure Airport in Cabo Verde
You MUST email us with this information before Monday, May 25 to be considered for the flight. Given the level of coordination required, it will likely not be possible to accommodate late responses.
Priority for this flight will be given to U.S. citizens, then Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs), and then other qualified travelers (e.g. third-country nationals and holders of a valid U.S. immigrant visa).
Confirmation of Flight Arrangements
Please do not call the Embassy to confirm receipt of your information; we will contact you with additional details if you are confirmed on the flight. All confirmed passengers will receive an email to bring to the airport along with their valid travel documents to board the flight. Interested parties should also refrain from appearing in person at the Embassy, which is closed to the public in compliance with regulations under the current State of Emergency.
COVID-19 Cases in Cabo Verde
As of May 22, Cabo Verde had 362 confirmed COVID-19 cases (56 cases on Boa Vista, 303 on Santiago, and three on São Vicente), of which 227 were active. Additional information is available at https://covid19.cv.
State of Emergency and Required Use of Facemasks
Cabo Verde’s State of Emergency has been extended through May 29 for Santiago. For the other islands – Boa Vista, São Vicente, Santo Antão, São Nicolau, Sal, Maio, Fogo, and Brava – certain restrictions on businesses and public areas remain in effect under the “State of Calamity” designation. Additionally, under Cabo Verdean law, all individuals outside their home are required to wear a facemask. U.S. citizens are reminded that all Cabo Verdean laws and regulations apply to them, and they could be arrested or fined for failure to abide accordingly.
During this period of shelter-in-place, food and supplies are still be delivered to all islands, and DHL continues to facilitate international shipping. Please visit local pharmacies to refill necessary medications and arrange shipment of any required items from the United States.
Restrictions on Commercial Air Travel
On March 28, the Government of Cabo Verde implemented a national State of Emergency, including the suspension of international travel into/out of the country, and severe restrictions on all air and maritime inter-island connections. Cabo Verde Airlines has announced that all of its commercial flight operations are suspended until July 1, 2020, while SATA Airlines has stated that its flights between Praia and Boston are suspended until June 14, 2020. Although airlines are advertising and selling tickets, the Cabo Verdean government has not announced when it will allow international commercial air travel to resume.
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 to 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. Should you wish to stop receiving these updates, please send an email to PraiaConsular@state.gov requesting to be removed from STEP enrollment.
Actions to Take:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive updates from the Embassy.
- Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
- Consider What the U.S. Government Can and Can’t Do 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 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.
- U.S. Embassy Praia
Rua Abilio Macedo 6
Praia, Cabo Verde
Phone: (+238) 260-8900
- State Department – Consular Affairs
1-888-407-4747 or 1-202-501-4444
- Cabo Verde Country Information
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