Alert: Cabo Verde State of Emergency

Alert:  U.S. Embassy Praia, Cabo Verde (April 1, 2020)

Location:  Praia, Cabo Verde

Event:  Cabo Verde State of Emergency

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 vehicle confiscated if they fail to abide by the restrictions imposed under the national state of emergency.

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.  To register interest in these 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.

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.

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

The Embassy continues to explore all options for repatriating American citizens to the United States, including those citizens located outside of Praia; however, the current restrictions on inter-island movements severely limit our ability to assist citizens on islands other than Santiago.  (Please note that the Cabo Verdean government has placed Boa Vista island under complete quarantine, and no one is allowed to travel to or depart from the island for at least 14 days.)

We recognize this has been a challenging period for many of our fellow Americans, particularly those seeking to depart Cabo Verde.  Thus far, U.S. Embassy Praia has organized two charter repatriation flights to the United States, both of which were sold out.  These flights have enabled 362 U.S. citizens and LPRs to safely return to the United States.

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.

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

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:


Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.