Health Alert: U.S. Embassy Freetown

Location: Sierra Leone (countrywide)

Event:  Nationwide Lockdown, Sunday to Tuesday, April 5-7  

Sierra Leone has recorded its first cases of COVID-19.  President Bio declared a state of emergency and has convened the Government of Sierra Leone COVID-19 response team.  There will be a nationwide lockdown on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, April 5-7.  All individuals in Sierra Leone are required to stay at home during this three-day period.  Saturday, April 4 is National Cleaning Day and restrictions on movement will be in place Saturday morning.  Please monitor local media sources for information on any additional restrictions that will be put in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  The U.S. Embassy will send updates as information is confirmed.  Rumors spread rapidly on social media.  We encourage you to visit the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health website for COVID information.

The U.S Embassy in Freetown is working to facilitate a special flight through Satguru Travel Agency for U.S. citizens and those eligible to travel to or transit through the U.S.  U.S visa holders also are eligible to purchase tickets on this flight, but priority will be given to U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.  You must have a valid visa before purchasing a ticket.  The consular section is closed for routine consular services and is not able to process visa applications at this time.

The potential flight—ASKY/Ethiopian Airways—will transit through Lomé en route to Newark, New Jersey.  The flight will be tentatively scheduled to depart on Friday, April 10th.  This is subject to change.

U.S. citizens who live in or seek to travel to the United States should arrange for immediate departure to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain in place for an indefinite period.  Further flight cancellations and suspensions can occur with little or no warning, making availability limited and unpredictable.  Your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe.

Passengers will be responsible for paying for the ticket upfront, approximately $3,500.  You can purchase the tickets (cash only) directly from the travel agency.  You can contact Satguru at sttsfna@satgurutravel.com or call +232 77 001 001 to make your reservation.  Please purchase your tickets by Monday, April 6.  You will be responsible for any arrangements or costs (lodging, onward destination or local transportation, etc.) beyond the initial destination of Newark, New Jersey.  The Embassy is unable to make reservations on your behalf.  You can work with the travel agency directly to book connecting flights to your destination in the U.S.

Please note that the travel agent cannot answer any questions about immigration to the U.S. or visas.  These questions should be sent to the freetownevac@state.gov  e-mail box.

Once you purchase your ticket, the travel agency will provide you more details regarding airport transfer.  Final flight confirmation will depend on the demand.

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