Event: Ongoing COVID-19 Response – Repatriation Flight on April 2
A repatriation flight from Bamako to the United States is scheduled for Thursday, April 2. If you are a confirmed passenger, please regularly check your email for further details and instructions.
This will likely be the last repatriation flight organized by the U.S. Embassy.
The U.S. Embassy in Bamako has organized a repatriation flight for U.S. citizens from Bamako’s Modibo Keita International Airport to Washington Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia. The flight will take place on Thursday, April 2. The flight is operated by the U.S. government and passengers will be required to reimburse the U.S. government for the cost of the flight.
Registration for this flight has closed. Please direct questions to ACSBamako@state.gov.
The flight is currently projected to depart midday on April 2. Additional flight details will be provided to passengers via email.
- This flight is for U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, and close family members of U.S. citizens.
- Travelers will complete a health check required by the Government of Mali prior to boarding and anyone with flu-like symptoms will not be allowed to board.
- If you are confirmed for the flight, you will receive written notification and instructions. Please review the S. Department of Homeland Security and travel.state.gov websites for the latest procedures and restrictions on entering the United States.
- Onward travel from Washington Dulles International Airport is the responsibility of the traveler.
- Each passenger will be allowed two checked bags. The combined weight limit for both bags is 50 pounds total. Passengers can have one carry-on and a personal item.
- Pets are not allowed.
- Normal services at Bamako International Airport are closed. The flight does include food and beverage service, though passengers are encouraged to bring snacks and/or food for special diets.
Here are the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions:
- Can I travel if I have COVID-19? If you have any flu-like symptoms (such as low-grade fever, muscle aches, headache, or upset stomach), you should not attempt to board this plane. Passengers showing symptoms will not be allowed to board the aircraft. Prior to landing in the United States, paperwork will be disseminated to passengers regarding appropriate health care procedures. Quarantine rules apply. Please review the S. Department of Homeland Security and travel.state.gov websites for the latest restrictions on entering the United States.
- Will I have to pay for the flight? Before boarding the plane, you will have to sign a promissory note agreeing to pay back the U.S. government for the cost of the flight. We will provide the exact amount to confirmed passengers and/or in a follow-on STEP notice.
- What is the baggage limit? Passengers will be allowed two bags within a fifty-pound total limit, plus a carry-on and personal item. Oversized items can likely be accommodated if they are within the 50-pound limit. Fifty pounds is the combined limit for both checked bags.
- Do I have the option to pay for additional luggage? Unfortunately, no. The fifty-pound limit will be strictly enforced, and there is no mechanism to pay for additional weight. Please plan accordingly.
- Will I have to quarantine or self-isolate in northern Virginia, or may I continue to my destination? You may continue to your destination and will be subject to whatever quarantine or self-isolation procedures are in effect there. Please review the S. Department of Homeland Security and travel.state.gov websites for the latest restrictions on entering the United States.
- Is this my last opportunity to get home? This is likely the last repatriation flight that will be organized by the U.S. Embassy. The U.S. government will continue to work with the airlines to encourage commercial flight options, but if you need to get back to the United States, you should take this opportunity. If you have questions about returning to the United States, read the Department of State Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.
- I have to travel with specialty equipment, can I have an exception to the baggage limit? The flight provider will permit car seats and strollers and some types of personal medical equipment. If you are a confirmed passenger and will need to bring any of these items, please notify the Consular Section in advance at ACSBamako@state.gov to ensure you do not encounter issues with baggage.
- Can my family member accompany me on the plane if he or she is not a U.S. citizen? Space will be allocated to family members of U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) on a space-available basis. At this time, there appears to be space available for close family members. Please note, anyone who is not a U.S. citizen or LPR needs to already have a visa to enter the United States. Please review the S. Department of Homeland Security and travel.state.gov websites for the latest restrictions on entering the U.S. The Embassy will not be able to facilitate visa interviews before this flight.
- Can Lawful Permanent Residents travel?
- If I cannot afford a ticket, can I still travel? Everyone who boards the plane will sign a DS-5528 promissory note agreeing to pay the cost of the flight upon their return to the United States. Please note, you will not be able to renew your passport until the debt to the U.S. government is paid.
- I would like to travel with my family member, but he or she does not have a visa. Can I schedule a visa appointment before the flight? Unfortunately, no. There is not time to facilitate visa interviews for this flight.
- Can my special medical needs be accommodated? Please include any special requests in your email, and we will endeavor to accommodate.
- Will there be meals on the plane? Yes, though passengers are encouraged to bring snacks and/or food for special diets.
- Where is the flight going and will you arrange transport to my destination? The flight is going to Washington Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia. You will be responsible for making travel arrangements from there to your destination.
- Can I bring my pet on this flight? This flight does not allow pets in the cabin or in the cargo space.
- Can an infant travel on a parent’s lap without the need to buy an extra seat? Children under two years old can be considered a lap child and ride in a parent’s lap for the flight without needing an additional seat.
The Government of Mali has announced that as of March 31 there are 28 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mali, including two deaths. While several of the afflicted persons are recent travelers, some have not recently left Mali.
All information about flights to the United States will be announced through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). If you are not already enrolled in STEP, please register at step.state.gov.
The Government of Mali has implemented enhanced screening and quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The government has prohibited flights coming from countries with confirmed cases of COVID-19 effective March 20 at midnight. This led to cancellations of flights into and out of Mali. The Malian government has also closed land borders to passenger traffic. Travelers should be prepared for additional travel restrictions to go into effect with little or no advance notice.
The Embassy is aware of the hardship the airport restrictions are creating for U.S. citizens who need to get to the United States. Embassy staff members are exploring all options to address the current travel disruptions. You are strongly encouraged to continue working with your airline and/or travel arranger. All information about flights to the United States will be announced through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). If you are not already enrolled in STEP, please register at step.state.gov.
Due to the possibility of an extended disruption, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19. Take the following steps to protect yourself:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Consider wearing a scarf, bandana, or gloves as a reminder to avoid touching your face (these items will not filter viruses).
- Clean and disinfect surfaces (including seats).
The Government of Mali has implemented measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. Schools and universities are closed until April 9, 2020. Sporting events, festivals, gatherings larger than 50 people have been banned, and bars and night clubs have also been closed. In addition, the government has imposed a daily curfew from 9:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. Also, the Government of Mali has adopted restrictions to passenger vehicle occupancy effective March 27 in order to promote social distancing. In addition, the Government of Mali announced March 30 that the work schedule for all government offices (with the exception of defense, security, and health) will be from 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Visit the Malian Ministry of Health website for updated information COVID-19 in Mali.
Effective March 18, U.S Embassy Bamako has suspended routine nonimmigrant visa appointments. Visit the visas section of the Embassy website for updates. Routine and emergency American citizen services continue to be offered, though they are subject to schedule change. Visit the U.S. Citizens Services section of the website to schedule an appointment.
On March 14, the Department of State authorized the departure from any diplomatic or consular post in the world of US personnel and family members who have been medically determined to be at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19. The Embassy has encouraged any Embassy staff with serious underlying health concerns to consider departing post. U.S. personnel were also advised to ensure they have sufficient supplies of prescription drugs on hand in case of future shortages.
U.S. government personnel are prohibited from leaving the City of Bamako.
Actions to Take:
- Consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for the most up-to-date information.
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
- Check with your airlines or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
- Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s websiteon the latest travel restrictions to the United States.
- Review the Malian Ministry of Health’s website.
- Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts.
- S. Embassy Bamako
Rue 243, Porte 297
+223 20 70 23 00
+223 66 75 28 60 (after-hours emergencies)
- State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
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