Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Gaborone, Botswana

Location:  Botswana  

Event:  Lockdown Regulations 

The Government of Botswana has published regulations regarding the COVID-19 state of emergency declaration.  The regulations can be found on the U.S. Embassy in Botswana COVID-19 page at   

  • The Government of Botswana has declared a State of Emergency starting Friday, April 3 until further notice. 
  • All individuals are expected to remain in their homes unless performing essential services or transporting essential goods. 
  • Those performing such services or transportation will be issued a COVID-19 Travel Permit by the Government of Botswana. 
  • Individuals may visit their nearest essential goods locations (grocery, pharmacy, etc.) during certain hours only without an express permit. 
  • All individuals are expected to continue to practice social distancing during this time. 
  • If your visa was granted prior to the state of emergency and expires during the state of   emergency, you are deemed to have a valid visa for the duration. The Government of Botswana will not process any requests for extensions during the lock-down. 

The Ambassador and other key U.S. Embassy Gaborone staff will host a Virtual Town Hall with U.S. citizens and their families on Friday, April 3 at 15:00 Central Africa Time.  The gathering will be held on Google Hangouts at  You will need a Google account to access the meeting.  If you have trouble accessing the meeting once you have your account and have added the Hangouts application, use the last ten letters of the link posted above to enter the meeting.  The meeting will be opened 15 minutes prior to 15:00. You will not be able to access the meeting prior to that.  

We will discuss best practices for dealing with the government lock-down, COVID-19 safety and hygiene practices, and evacuation flight policy.  This will be followed by a Question and Answer session. Please invite any U.S. citizens you know and send them the link to join the Town Hall.  

If you have any questions for the Q&A Session, please send them in advance to  

Because there are currently no commercial flights entering or departing Botswana or many of its neighbors, the U.S. Department of State is strongly considering sending a charter plane that will stop in several locations across Southern Africa, including Botswana, in the very near future.  The exact dates, pricing, and other details will be shared as soon as they are available. U.S. citizens should seriously consider this option for returning to the United States, as there are no guarantees that another flight will be possible and those who remain may have to stay for several months.  Please carefully weigh the anticipated conditions in Botswana and in the United States over the next 60-90 days when making this decision. Please also note that evacuation flights are not free-of-charge and are, in fact, frequently more expensive than regular commercial travel.     

U.S. citizens who are interested in taking this opportunity to return home should contact the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone at the following link and fill out the form carefully, then submit:  

Botswana Repatriation Request Form  

The U.S. Embassy will use this form to send details about the flight to those who have registered. 

For those outside Gaborone, the evacuation flight will stop in Gaborone only.  Please contact for assistance or the numbers listed below if you are outside of Gaborone and are seeking evacuation. 

For those in northern Botswana, Zambia is no longer a good option for departure from the country.  Zambian officials have started to enforce quarantine at the border with the onset of COVID-19 cases in Botswana, so you may be detained for 14 days at the border before being allowed to proceed to Lusaka.  

Actions to Take: