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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

US government calls on its citizens in SA to register for repatriation

The Trump administration has ordered all American citizens in SA to come forward to be repatriated so they can be evacuated.

The US embassy statement was released Monday under the heading “US Embassy Repatriation Guidance to US Citizens” directing American citizens to quickly contact the embassy and to fill their details on a form on the embassy website.

“The U.S. Embassy in Pretoria urges those who wish to be repatriated to come forward and contact the embassy so that they are taken back home.”

No reason was given for the urgent call for the repatriation of Americans, but it is understood that it is related to the coronavirus.

The US has the largest number of infections in the world.

In a statement on Monday afternoon embassy spokesperson Rob Mearkle said they were committed to facilitating the repatriation of all US.citizens who wished to return home.

“We want to ensure that if an opportunity to return is presented that we have as complete a database as possible. US citizens need to be aware that this could be through either commercial means or a chartered flight. You should also be aware that this option may be more expensive than a normal discounted airfare. We do not have a specific cost estimate,” Mearkle said.

“Any repatriation flight(s) from South Africa to the United States of America can only depart from OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg, Cape Town International, and King Shaka airport in Durban as per government of South Africa regulations relating to the lockdown. Once specific flight details are confirmed, US citizens need to make their own way to one of the three above airports.”

American citizens were directed to check za.usembassy.gov where they are expected to complete a form to receive the latest updated information. They can also email saevacuation@state.gov if they don’t receive a confirmation email or no longer require assistance.

– ericn@citizen.co.za

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