Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Bamako, Mali – March 28, 2020
Event: Ongoing COVID-19 Response
The US Embassy is working closely to pursue flight options to the United States. There is a possibility that a flight can occur as soon as Monday, March 30. American Citizens who are interested in leaving on Monday March 30 should send an email to ACSBamako@state.gov with the following information for each passenger:
- First name
- Date of birth
- Passport number
- Passport expiry date
Details about this flight will likely not be confirmed before March 29. Details will be provided through a STEP notice, but here are the answers to some anticipated questions:
- Is this flight confirmed? No, but we do not want to delay planning until we receive confirmation given the timing of the flight.
- Will I have to pay for the flight? Yes. We will provide the amount and payment options in a follow-on STEP notice.
- Can I bring my pet on this flight? Unfortunately, no.
- Can my family member accompany me on the plane if they are not a U.S. citizen? We will provide further information about eligibility in a follow-on STEP notice. Please email us with the required information for you and your family members and note which are not U.S. citizens. We will contact you when we have a definitive answer.
- Can legal permanent residents (LPRs) purchase a ticket? We will provide further information about eligibility in a follow-on STEP notice. Please email us with the required information for you and your family members and note which members of the party are LPRs. We will contact you when we have a definitive answer.
- If I cannot afford a ticket, can I still travel? Yes. Anyone who cannot afford a ticket will have to sign a promissory note before boarding the aircraft agreeing to pay the cost of the flight upon their return to the United States. If you sign a promissory 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.
- Is this my last opportunity to get home? Unknown. The U.S. government will continue to work with the airlines, but if you need to get back to the U.S., you should take this opportunity.
The Government of Mali has announced that as of March 28 there are 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mali. 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.
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.
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 website on 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.