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Last Update: (7/08/2020 – 16:00 CAT)
Botswana has confirmed 175 cases of COVID-19 and one death within its borders. Local transmission of the disease is confirmed.
There are currently no commercial flights, special flights or government charters available. Be prepared to shelter in place until commercial flights are available. The Government of Botswana has not announced any plans to resume commercial international flights at this time.
If you are a U.S. citizen who currently seeks to depart Botswana on a flight to the United States, please complete the request form here:
If you are travelling with others, you must complete the form for each person in your group. Entering your data into this form will add you to a list to get separate emails with flight information and logistics. If you have already completed this form, please do not complete it again. If you have previously completed the form and no longer wish to depart Botswana, please contact us at ConsularGaborone@state.gov so we can remove you from the list.
Please consider the following information:
- You should be aware that if an opportunity to return presents itself, it could be through either commercial means or a chartered flight. You should also be aware that this option may be more expensive than a normal flight, but we do not have a specific cost estimate.
- Any repatriation flight(s) from Botswana to the United States would likely depart from Gaborone, with one technical stop prior to arriving in the United States. Once specific flight details are confirmed, we will communicate those to you with instructions on how to book the travel.
- You will be responsible for onward travel from the arrival location in the United States, which will most likely be somewhere on the east coast.
- Depending on your personal/financial situation and support network in Botswana, sheltering in place may be an option; however, you should be prepared to do so for an undetermined amount of time.
- If you haven’t already, please enroll yourself in the STEP
Transit Through Zambia
The border with Zambia via the Kazungula Ferry is no longer a good option for departing Botswana, as Zambian officials are enforcing quarantine measures at the border with the onset of COVID-19 cases in Botswana. U.S. citizens who attempt to travel to Lusaka from Botswana may be detained for 14 days in Zambia at the border.
Transit Through South Africa
Requirements for transit through South Africa for repatriation flights are changing regularly. We do not recommend attempting to cross the border.
Botswana Entry and Exit Requirements
- The Government of Botswana has banned entry of all individuals (except Batswana and Botswana residents) from entering Botswana.
- Batswana and Botswana residents returning from high risk countries will be subjected to a 14-day mandatory quarantine at government-approved locations.
- Individuals arriving in Botswana will be required to go directly to a government-approved facility with food and sanitation provided for their 14-day quarantine.
- U.S. citizens placed into government-approved quarantine facilities should attempt to contact the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone at ConsularGaborone@state.govor the phone numbers listed on this website.
Botswana Lock-down Information
- The Government of Botswana has declared a State of Emergency starting Friday, April 3 until further notice.
- Botswana has progressed to a limited re-opening status under the ongoing State of Emergency. For the latest on permits and regulations, please see the Government of Botswana’s Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/BWGovernment
- Botswana is now divided into 9 geographical zones (map available at gov.bw) and permits are only needed to travel between zones. Residents may travel within their zone without permits.
- Permits for inter-zone travel may be acquired online at gov.bw.
- All individuals are expected to continue to practice social distancing during this time.
- Masks are required in all public places, and registration for entry to businesses and shops is mandatory.
- Effective March 23, 2020, U.S. Embassy Gaborone has suspended routine consular services. For emergency American Citizens Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website at https://bw.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/for more information.
- Individuals who demonstrate specific symptoms related to COVID-19 should call their health care provider or the MoHWEmergency Operations line at 363-2273/2756/2757 or 997 for further instructions.
Actions to Take
- Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
- For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19 please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.govfor the latest information.
- Check with your airlines regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
- Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19for information on conditions in Botswana.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s websiteon the latest travel restrictions to the U.S.
- Visit the Botswana Ministry of Health and Wellness‘ Facebook page for latest travel restrictions.
- Dial 997 if you are in Botswana and you have symptoms of COVID-19.