Health Alert: Additional confirmed COVID-19 Cases on Santiago and Boa Vista

Health Alert:  U.S. Embassy Praia, Cabo Verde (April 21, 2020)

Location:  Cabo Verde

Event:  Additional confirmed COVID-19 Cases on Santiago and Boa Vista

New COVID-19 Cases

As of April 21, Cabo Verde has 68 confirmed COVID-19 cases (52 cases on Boa Vista, 15 on Santiago, and one on Sao Vicente).  Since April 17, when the Government of Cabo Verde confirmed the first COVID-19 case outside the family of the three original cases in Praia, there have been an additional 11 cases confirmed.  Additional information is available at

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 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, 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.

Final Repatriation Flight Planned for Week of April 27

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 using the subject line “Last Charter to the U.S.” and providing the following for each person in your traveling party:

  • Full Name
  • Citizenship
  • 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 are 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

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.  Should you wish to stop receiving these email updates, please send an email to requesting to be removed from STEP enrollment.

Actions to Take: