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More than 900 US citizens in SA to be repatriated this week

09 April 2020 - 13:22 By Andisiwe Makinana
American citizens in SA will be repatriated from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg this week, as well as from Durban and Cape Town airports.
American citizens in SA will be repatriated from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg this week, as well as from Durban and Cape Town airports.
Image: ACSA

US citizens in South Africa begin the journey home on Thursday as the world tries to cope with the Covid-19 global pandemic.

The first two of three repatriation flights for US citizens were scheduled to depart SA on Thursday afternoon. The flights, which will continue on Friday, will carry more than 900 Americans to Washington DC from airports in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.

US ambassador to SA Lana Marks said on Thursday: "We are rising to meet the historic challenge posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and thus far the department of state has repatriated more than 50,000 citizens, across 485 flights from more than 94 countries."

The flights will be operated by Ethiopian Airlines. Marks expressed her gratitude to the airline and its crew for operating the flights.

She also thanked SA's department of international relations and co-operation (Dirco), the department of transport and Airports Company SA (Acsa) for their support and "excellent collaboration" in facilitating the departure of citizens flying home.

She was clear that all passengers would be screened for Covid-19 symptoms by South African health officials before boarding, and all airport, airline and US mission personnel would follow recommended protocols for personal protection and distancing throughout the repatriation operation. 

Once in the US, all passengers will need to self-quarantine for 14 days.


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