Health Alert – U. S. Embassy Lome, Togo – (April 8, 2020)

Location: Lome Togo

Event: On April 7, 2020 the Government of Togo confirmed 13 new cases of COVID-19 in Togo, bringing the total cases since March 6 to 65.  Of the 13 new cases, five are in the city of SOKODE, which indicate that COVID-19 is spreading through community transmission in this city.

In an effort to slow community transmission of COVID-19, the Government of Togo has announced additional public health measures in SOKODE to curb the spread of the virus. These include a ban on the use of two-wheeled vehicles (motorcycle taxis), the reinforcement of the closure of the city of SOKODE with the closing of the locality of KOUBON and its surrounding environ, and the enforcement of a national curfew from 8 PM to 6 AM.

If community transmission is identified in other cities in Togo, residents should be prepared for additional restrictions on movement with little or no notice, including possible bans on intercity buses and taxis and local motorcycle taxis, as well as a more aggressive police posture when moving about, even within the same city or region.

In light of the recent public health and security measures in Togo, we remind all U.S. citizens still present in Togo of the March 19 Department of State global health alert recommendation that U.S. citizens return to the United States while commercial flights from Lome to Newark and Houston continue to operate.  If you choose to remain in Togo, you should be prepared for a temporary suspension of commercial flights that may last several weeks to several months.  In such an event, any charter flight could be prohibitively expensive or impossible in regard to a temporary change in flight regulations.

The U.S. Embassy Lome reminds all U.S. citizens present in Togo that charter flights are never free to passengers and constitute a government loan that must be repaid to the U.S. Treasury prior to the re-issuance of a passport.  In addition, charter flights often cost substantially more than a one-way, non-refundable ticket purchased through a commercial carrier.

Please 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.

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.

Actions to Take: