Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Gaborone, Botswana

Location:  Botswana

Event:  Permission to Depart Botswana Required from Ministry of Health

Commercial flights out of Botswana remain suspended until further notice.

However, there will likely be a special flight through Ethiopian Airlines on Tuesday, August 25.  The cost is unknown at this time.  If you are interested in this flight, please contact the airline sales manager Mrs. Neo directly at: (telephone +267 311 1631) to register your interest and arrange a booking once that option becomes available.

All nationals of any country in Botswana who wish to depart must secure permission from the Government of Botswana’s Ministry of Health and Wellness in order to exit.  Please email Mrs. OT Morapedi providing a copy of your passport bio data page and the flight details for your departure.  You will also need to provide a short formal letter of application for your permit to exit the country, which can be scanned and attached to your email.  There is no pre-approved format for the letter.  Her email is or  We recommend you send your email to both addresses to ensure the most rapid response.

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

Ethiopian Airlines is continuing flights from Addis Ababa until further notice.  As a result, Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa is the de facto repatriation hub for U.S. travelers.  As of Monday, March 23, 2020, the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) has instituted a mandatory 14-day quarantine procedure for all individuals entering Ethiopia.  There are two different types of passengers and at this time, they are being treated as follows:

Ethiopia as a final destination:  Individuals must quarantine at their own expense at one of these designated hotels:

Skylight Hotel – or +251 116 818 181

Ghion Hotel – or +251 115 513 222

The Skylight Hotel should be the first choice since it is in close proximity to the airport. Please note that the Ghion Hotel is the less expensive hotel, but the Embassy has received numerous complaints about the condition of the hotel (no hot water, unclean, limited food) so travelers should be aware that the hotel may not meet their expectations based on U.S. standards.

Transit Passengers: At this time, transiting commercial passengers 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 in the traveler will be subject to a mandatory quarantine situation.  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.

In the meantime, please do not forget to register in STEP for the latest alerts and information from the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone at

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