Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Cotonou, Benin (April 2, 2020)
There are 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Benin.
As of April 2, commercial flight options out of Benin exist but are significantly reduced and could be suspended at any time.
As previously indicated, the embassy strongly urges those who wish to return to the United States to explore commercial flight options now, as there is no guarantee that the U.S. government will be able to arrange evacuation flights if airspace closes. Ethiopian Airlines is offering seats on a flight to Addis Ababa on April 4 with onward connections to the United States.
If you decide to remain in Benin at this time, prepare to shelter in place for an indefinite period of time.
The Department of State is not currently organizing an evacuation of American citizens from Benin. There is no guarantee that the U.S. government will be able to arrange evacuation flights if commercial flights suspend service. Evacuation flights are not free-of-charge and are, in fact, frequently more expensive than currently available commercial travel.
In the event that an evacuation flight becomes available, we are asking you to let us know now if you are interested in being contacted. Please send an email to ACSCotonou@state.gov with the subject line “Return Travel to the U.S.” Please include the following information for each U.S. citizen, and each U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident guardian accompanying minor U.S. citizen children, in your family or group:
- Full name as it appears on your passport
- Citizenship (only for U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents)
- Date of birth
- Passport number/LPR Card Number
- Date of passport/LPR Card issuance and expiration
- Email address and contact phone number
- Current location
- Desired onward destination in the United States
We will contact you if an evacuation flight is being arranged and provide you with logistical information, including its cost per seat. It is important to note that these seats are traditionally offered at charge on a first-come, first-serve basis to U.S. citizens and space permitting, for qualifying non-citizen dependents. Private American citizens seeking to depart would be required to sign a promissory note and would be billed at a later date for the cost of the flight.
Actions to Take:
- Review the Global Level 4 Health Advisory advising U.S. citizens to reconsider travel abroad due to COVID-19 and take into account that emergency medical care may not be available anywhere within Benin.
- Follow all government and law enforcement procedures and instructions.
- Check with your airlines regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
- Make plans to depart Benin without U.S. Government assistance or, if remaining in Benin, prepare to shelter in place for an indefinite period of time.
- Ensure you have an adequate supply of prescription medication.
- Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
- Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Benin.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.
U.S. Embassy Cotonou, Benin
Boulevard de la Marina Cotonou Benin
+229 21 36 75 00 or 21 30 06 50
State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
Benin Country Information
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