Health Alert: U.S. Embassy Freetown

Location:  Sierra Leone (countrywide)

Event:  The Government of Sierra Leone has announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Sierra Leone.

President Bio has declared a state of emergency for Sierra Leone and has convened the Government of Sierra Leone COVID-19 response team.  Please monitor local media sources for information on forthcoming 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.

Citizens are required to observe social distancing protocols, stay home if they are sick, and seek medical attention if they show symptoms of COVID-19.  If you have fever, tiredness, and cough, call 117 right away. Make sure to tell 117 if you or someone you know has traveled to another country in the last 14 days. Avoid travel if you have a fever or cough.  The airport and land borders are closed to travel.

The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.  We recognize this has been a challenging period for many of our fellow Americans, particularly those of you seeking to depart Sierra Leone after the closure of the international airport.

The Department of State is working to help United States citizens currently in Sierra Leone to return home, if possible.  If you are interested in being contacted with information about a possible commercial flight to the United States, please let us know.

Please send an email to with the subject line “Return Travel to the U.S.”  Please include the following information for each U.S. citizen member of your family or group.  If minor children will be accompanied by a U.S. legal permanent resident guardian, please include this information in the e-mail:

  • Full name as it appears on your passport
  • Citizenship (only for Legal Permanent Residents of the U.S.)
  • Date of birth
  • Passport number
  • Date of passport issuance and expiration
  • Email address and contact phone number
  • Current location
  • Desired onward destination in the U.S.

We will contact you if a repatriation flight is being arranged and provide you with logistical information, including the cost per seat.  It is important to note that these seats are traditionally offered at-charge on a first-come, first-serve basis to U.S. citizens and, space permitting, for qualifying non-citizen dependents.

Interested parties should verify that their passports and other documentation are current and valid for at least six months from today’s date.

We encourage all U.S. citizens to register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to assure that they receive updates from the U.S. Embassy

Actions to Take: