Health Alert – U. S. Embassy Lome, Togo (April 16, 2020)

Location: Lome, Togo

Event: As of April 15, 2020, the Togo Ministry of Health confirmed four additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the total confirmed cases in Togo to 81 with no more reported deaths.  As of April 11, 2020, all major cities in Togo, including Lome, have restrictions on passengers in taxis and on moto taxis.  Inter-regional movement restrictions and a curfew (8 PM to 6 AM) remain in effect until at least June.  These restrictions may have inconsistent enforcement in cities and across Togo.

If you are stopped and turned back or denied passage, please be respectful to the law enforcement agent and comply with any lawful request.  The U.S. Embassy will only assist with a law enforcement matter involving a U.S. citizen after 24 hours have elapsed following a detention.  Mandatory quarantine for public health reasons or a denial of passage or transit while in Togo do not qualify as detention.

If you are a U.S. citizen planning to depart Togo from the Lome International Airport and are currently in Togo but reside outside of Lome, email a scan of your U.S. passport bio-page, your flight departure date, and the license plate number of the vehicle you will be riding in to consularlome@state.gov at least three days prior to your flight.  The U.S. Embassy in Lome will pass this information to the Government of Togo to facilitate your passage to Lome in order to board a scheduled flight to Newark or Houston.

Contact Ethiopian Airlines’ Lome ticketing and reservation office inside of Hotel Palm Beach on beach road (Boulevard de la Republique or N2) two blocks east of the French Embassy if you wish to return to the United States prior to a possible suspension of commercial flights between Togo and the United States.  The U.S. Embassy in Lome will not organize any charter flights to the United States so long as commercial flights remain available.  Moreover, charter flights are not free and often cost more than a commercial flight.  Any non-reimbursed use of a charter flight will be considered a government loan, and you will not be able to obtain a full-validity passport again until this loan has been repaid.

We recommend booking flights in-person at Ethiopian’s downtown office as opposed to using a third-party or Ethiopian Airlines’ own reservation website as some flights may have since been cancelled or rescheduled due to insufficient demand.  The most consistent flight that Ethiopian Airlines still operates is the Tuesday noon flight from Lome to Newark.  Flights to Newark may also happen at the same time on Sunday or Friday.  Lome to Houston flights may happen at the same time Monday, Wednesday or Saturday.  Passengers with travel to China, Iran, or Europe in the past 14 days must adhere to current Department of Homeland Security regulations and book seats on the Newark flight only.

The U.S. Embassy in Lome has reduced operations to emergency services only until further notice.  U.S. citizens with emergencies, including lost or stolen passports, should contact the embassy at consularlome@state.gov or schedule an appointment online.

Regular, full-validity passports cannot be printed at U.S. print facilities at this time.  The Embassy can only issue limited-validity (one-year) emergency passports, which may be subject to additional travel or entry restrictions when used for travel outside of Togo.  Emergency passports should be used primarily for immediate and direct return to the United States where they can be exchanged for a full-validity passport once U.S. print facilities resume operations.  The U.S. Embassy does not assist U.S. citizens in traveling from Togo to neighboring countries, and we remind U.S. citizens of the State Department’s March travel advisory advising against international travel.

Please encourage any U.S. citizens you know still present in Togo to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) so that they may receive the latest COVID-19 updates from the Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Lome.

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