Health Alert: U.S. Embassy Malabo, Equatorial Guinea – March 31, 2020 UPDATE

Event:  The Equatorial Guinea Ministry of Public Health has confirmed fifteen cases of COVID-19 in Equatorial Guinea with one confirmed recovery.

Equatorial Guinea extends the COVID-19 containment measures –

“The Vice-President proposed adding further preventative measures, in addition to those already decreed, based on the current increase in positive cases within the national territory.  The proposed isolation will start in 72 hours in all districts in the continental region for a period of 14 days, which could be extended.  In the next few hours Equatorial Guinea will publish the extension of the measures, indicating that on all borders in the continental region, borders with neighbouring countries (Rio Campo, Mocomiseng, Ebebiying) there will be strict vigilance, because people regularly enter the border areas of the Continental Region of the country.” (FULL TEXT)  

The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.  We recognize this has been a challenging period for many of our fellow Americans, particularly those of you seeking to depart Equatorial Guinea after the closure of the international airport.

UPDATE:  The flight for Tuesday, March 31, 2020 was oversold and so the Malabo portion of the flight was cancelled due to spacing issues.

We are now working on getting seats on a flight that would leave later this week from Malabo to the United States.  We will keep you all informed of all information as it is presented to us.  It is unlikely that there will be another repatriation flight organized by the U.S. Embassy after this flight.

If we are able to secure a flight, it could happen with very short notice.  Please ensure that you monitor your email and phone for notifications.  The flight will be operated by the U.S. government and passengers will be required to reimburse the U.S. government for the cost of the flight. Once confirmed, we will only have the flight information for the arrival and departure from Malabo.  We cannot advise on when or where it will land in the United States at this time.

If you have not already done so, please register your interest in this flight, American citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents should send an email to malaboconsular@state.gov with the information below for each passenger with the subject line “Return Travel to the U.S.”.  Please include the following information for each U.S. citizen, U.S. legal permanent resident, non-citizen guardians accompanying minor children in your family or group, and non-citizens:

  • Full name as it appears on your passport
  • Citizenship(only for Legal Permanent Residents of the U.S. and qualifying Non-citizens)
  • Country Visa type, Number, and Expiration Date(only for qualifying Non-citizens)
  • Date of birth
  • Passport number
  • Date of passport issuance and expiration
  • Email address and contact phone number
  • Current location
  • Desired onward destination in the U.S.
  • Medical issues
  • Pets

Important:

  • This flight is for U.S. citizensand Lawful Permanent Residents. Space permitting, all third country nationals will be on a stand-by first come basis.
  • At the time of boarding, passengers will be prioritized on basis of health, U.S. citizenship and family members of U.S. citizens.  Third country nationals will only be allowed to board flights that do not pass through Europe.
  • Travelers will complete a health check prior to boarding and anyone with flu-like symptoms will not be allowed to board.
  • Please review theU.S. Department of Homeland Security and travel.state.gov websites for the latest procedures and restrictions on entering the United States.
  • Onward travel from site of landing in the United States is the responsibility of the traveler.
  • Each passenger will be allowed two checked bags. The combined weight limit for both bags is 50 pounds total. Passengers can have one carry-on and a personal item.
  • Pets are not allowed.
  • Normal services at Malabo International Airport are closed. The flight does include food and beverage service, though passengers are encouraged to bring snacks and/or food for special diets.
  •  Individuals entering the United States may be subject to CDC screening, health observation, monitoring requirements and existing DHS entry requirements.  Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the U.S. 
  • U.S. citizens without a valid U.S. passport who wish to depart Equatorial Guinea should send the above information using the information of their most recent expired passport. Please indicate that the passport is expired.  You will be contacted with information on how to obtain an emergency passport.
  • If you are coming from the mainland, you will need to verify that you can get to Malabo.  Per the instruction of the Government of Equatorial Guinea, all domestic flights effective immediately for the prevention of the spread of Corona Virus (COVID-19) have been suspended. 

Here are the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Can I travel if I have COVID-19? Passengers showing symptoms will not be allowed to board the aircraft.  Prior to landing in the United States, paperwork will be disseminated to passengers regarding appropriate health care procedures. Quarantine rules apply.  Please review the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and travel.state.gov websites for the latest restrictions on entering the United States.
  • Will I have to pay for the flight? Yes. Before boarding the plane, you will have to sign a promissory note agreeing to pay back the U.S. government for the cost of the flight.  We will provide the exact amount to confirmed passengers and/or in a follow-on STEP notice.
  • What is the baggage limit? Passengers will be allowed two bags within a fifty-pound total limit, plus a carry-on and personal item. Oversized items can likely be accommodated if they are within the 50-pound limit. Fifty-pounds is the combined limit for both checked bags.
  • Do I have the option to pay for additional luggage? Unfortunately, no. The fifty-pound limit will be strictly enforced, and there is no mechanism to pay for additional weight. Please plan accordingly.
  • Will I have to quarantine or self-isolate in northern Virginia, or may I continue to my destination? You may continue to your destination and will be subject to whatever quarantine or self-isolation procedures are in effect there.  Please review the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and travel.state.gov websites for the latest restrictions on entering the United States.
  • Is this my last opportunity to get home? This is likely the last repatriation flight that will be organized by the U.S. Embassy.  The U.S. government will continue to work with the airlines to encourage commercial flight options, but if you need to get back to the United States, you should take this opportunity. If you have questions about returning to the United States, read the Department of State Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.
  • I have to travel with specialty equipment, can I have an exception to the baggage limit? Unfortunately, the U.S. Embassy does not anticipate that specialty equipment will be accommodated. The limits are set by the flight provider.  The U.S. Embassy will follow up with confirmed passengers should this information change.
  • Can my family member accompany me on the plane if he or she is not a U.S. citizen? Space will be allocated to family members of U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) on a space-available basis.  Please note, anyone who is not a U.S. citizen or LPR needs to already have a visa to enter the United States.