Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Gaborone, Botswana

Location:  Botswana

Event:  Travel to the United States

As of March 29, there will be no flights out of Botswana on any commercial airline until further notice.  Ethiopian Airlines operates its final flight on Saturday, March 28, flight ET 829 departing at 15:20 local time.  U.S. citizens who are still considering returning to the United States but were unable to depart on a regular commercial flight should contact the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone at the following link and fill out the form carefully, then submit:

Botswana Repatriation Request Form

For those in northern Botswana, Ethiopian Airlines is still operating daily flights out of Lusaka, Zambia through Addis Ababa to the United States until further notice.   U.S. citizens may exit Botswana using the Kazungula ferry crossing of the River Zambezi, and can apply for a visa upon entry into Zambia.  Questions about visas and crossing can be directed to Zambian immigration authorities at and or by phone at +260 211 428 800 Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 17:00.  There are flight options from Livingstone to Lusaka, or a private car may be arranged to avoid contact with more individuals on buses or public transport in Zambia.  Speak to your hotel or lodge in Botswana about arranging transportation to Lusaka.  They may or may not be able to assist.

Please note that the situation in Ethiopia is fluid and subject to change without notice.

Transit Passengers: At this time, transiting commercial passengers with long layovers are quarantined at one of the above hotels until it is time to return to Bole International Airport for their flight to the United States.  If a passenger arrived on a regularly-scheduled commercial flight they can remain in temporary quarantine until their next flight.  If the layover will exceed one overnight stay in Ethiopia, there is a risk the traveler will be subject to a mandatory quarantine of 14 days.  We strongly recommend transiting passengers make every attempt to avoid layovers requiring an overnight stay.

Symptomatic Passengers:  If any transiting passengers appear symptomatic for COVID-19 (likely manifested through the presence of a fever), they will be taken to Bole Chefa Health clinic to be further tested.  These individuals must remain under the supervision of medical professionals within Ethiopia until cleared. Bole Chefa Health Clinic does not approximate U.S. standards for care or comfort.

Effective March 23, U.S. Embassy Gaborone has suspended routine consular services. For emergency American Citizens Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website for additional information at

Individuals who demonstrate specific symptoms related to COVID-19 should call their health care provider or the MoHW Emergency Operations line at 363-2273/2756/2757 for further instructions.
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