Health Alert — U.S. Embassy Lome, Togo (August 17, 2020)

As of August 16, there were 1147 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with ‎27 deaths, 277 active cases, and 843 recovered. These statistics are regularly updated on the Government of Togo’s COVID-19 website. We remind all U.S. citizens of the current Level 3 Health Advisory for Togo recommending against travel; U.S. citizens who choose to travel or to remain in Togo during the COVID-19 pandemic do so at their own risk and expense. The Government of Togo is using one phone number, 111, for all questions regarding COVID-19.  Do not hesitate to call this number if you believe that you or someone you know has been exposed to COVID-19 or are showing symptoms of the disease.

The U.S. Department of State continues to recommend that U.S. citizens should return to the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those with underlying medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, or kidney or heart disease.  Togo has limited medical capabilities in the event that you may require a ventilator or other advanced medical care.  The Government of Togo administers chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to COVID-19 patients.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises against this pharmacologic treatment as there is no evidence that it lessens the duration or severity of COVID-19.

The U.S. Embassy has limited recourse to intervene if you attempt to opt out of any Government of Togo-required drug protocol or quarantine, including upon arrival in Lome. All arriving passengers including U.S. citizens, must show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 5 days prior to boarding. On arrival at Lomé Airport/LFW, they will be subject to another mandatory COVID-19 PCR test at the terminal.  All travelers (both departing and arriving passengers) must register online at the GOT website prior to boarding, which will include payment for the COVID test upon arrival.

You should expect to spend one to two days under personal quarantine at a hotel or private residence in Lomé until you are informed of your COVID-19 test results.  You should limit your contact with anyone during this time.  After this period, if it is determined by the Togo Ministry of Health from your nasal swab that you may have COVID-19, you will be required to quarantine for 14 to 21 days at the Eda-Oba Hotel in Lomé at your own expense until being cleared by the Ministry of Health to resume your activities in Togo.

While there are no intercity restrictions, all land border crossings and regional air connections with Togo, Ghana, and Burkina Faso are temporarily suspended.  If you reside outside of Togo in West Africa.  Please contact the U.S. Embassy in your country for assistance.

For more information related to the flights available in the country, visit the COVID-19 page.  Exit testing is now required 72-hours in advance of a flight by visiting the Institute National d’Hygiène near 2 Fevrier hotel and three blocks north of the French Embassy.  The cost is 40,000 CFA per test.  All passengers, including infants and children, now require testing before boarding a flight.

We expect all U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents in Togo to use the direct Newark flights to return to the United States.  Although the cost of this flight is now higher than it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the cost of a ticket is within the pre-pandemic market range for flights between the African continent and the United States.  Contact Ethiopian Airlines’ Lome ticketing and reservation office on the first floor 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.

There is no such thing as a free flight to the United States.  If you are a U.S. citizen and financially destitute, meaning no financial assets in Togo or the United States and no friends or family who can assist you, then you will need to schedule an appointment online to speak to a consular officer at the U.S. Embassy.  Any government-provided financial assistance will result in the limitation/cancellation of your full-validity U.S. passport, and you will be required to depart on the next available flight after submitting a signed promissory note to the consular officer.  You will not be able to obtain a new U.S. passport until you have paid in full to the U.S. Treasury the amount spent for your plane ticket.

U.S. passport print facilities have resumed operations.  You may submit a regular, full-validity passport application (DS-11 or DS-82) by making an appointment online.  You should submit an application at least one month prior to the expected travel date or the expiration of the U.S. passport.

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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