Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Gaborone, Botswana

Location:  Botswana

Event:  COVID-19 Cases Confirmed, Lockdown Begins April 2

On March 30, Botswana’s Ministry of Health confirmed three cases of COVID-19 in the country.  President Masisi declared a state of emergency nationwide beginning midnight on April 2 until further notice.  He will also request approval from Parliament for 28 days of extreme social distancing, or “lockdown”:

  • 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.
  • All individuals are expected to continue to practice social distancing during this time.
  • The Government of Botswana will announce details on fiscal and social measures enacted to reduce the impact of the lockdown on individuals and businesses. 

There are currently no commercial flights entering or departing Botswana.  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 Zambezi River, 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.

Actions to Take: