COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions For U.S. Citizens

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I am a U.S. citizen abroad trying to return home, but I cannot find a flight/borders are closed. What do I do?

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at step.state.gov and monitor the U.S. embassy’s website for updates. They may have instructions regarding future flights.

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There are no direct flights to the United States from my current location. What can I do?

You may be able to secure a connecting flight via another destination. Be aware flights are being cancelled with little notice and there may be quarantine requirements/entry restrictions. Please follow local authority quarantine guidelines.

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I see there are still some commercial flights. Should I wait for a flight arranged by the U.S. embassy/consulate?

No. Arrange to depart immediately via commercial options as long as they remain available, unless you are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.

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Are government-assisted evacuation flights free?

No.  Evacuation flights are not free-of-charge and are, in fact, frequently more expensive than currently available commercial travel.  Please see additional information about U.S. Government-assisted evacuation for U.S. Citizens.

 

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I have a trip planned for this summer. Should I cancel it?

We cannot speculate on future travel. The situation remains fluid. Continue to monitor travel.state.gov and refer to the current Global Level 4 (Do Not Travel) Health Advisory.

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I am having issues enrolling at step.state.gov.

Try clearing your browsing history and using Internet Explorer 11 or Google Chrome. You can also check to the U.S. embassy/consulate website for alerts and follow us on social media for updates.

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I previously enrolled in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), but I am having issues logging on. What should I do?

Please click the “Contact Us” link at the bottom of step.state.gov and submit a request for assistance using the form provided.

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Why am I no longer receiving Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) notifications?

Check your travel dates under account settings. The system will not send updates beyond your departure date. Change it to “indefinite” or future date to keep receiving notifications.

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I enrolled at step.state.gov and keep checking the embassy website. Is there anything else I can do?

We are working around the clock to help U.S. citizens return home. Keep checking the website/STEP notifications - we will share information as it becomes available.

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I have a commercial flight scheduled to depart soon. Will it happen?

Many commercial air carriers are changing or cancelling flights with little advance notice. Refer to your air carrier’s website for the latest information on the status of your flight.

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Should I just go to the airport even if I don’t have a confirmed flight?

In most cases, no. Refer to the instructions provided by the nearest U.S. embassy/consulate. In some cases, they must coordinate with the local authorities before you can travel to the airport.

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What about my family member with health problems? Will they be able to depart on an earlier flight?

U.S. citizens at higher risk from the virus – adults age 65+ and people of any age with underlying health issues – are being prioritized for government sponsored repatriation flights.

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I am expecting an email from the U.S. embassy/consulate, but I haven’t received one yet. What should I do?

Check your spam and/or junk email folders to see if the message was diverted there instead of your inbox.

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How do I tell the U.S. embassy/consulate I am interested in a repatriation flight?

Many U.S. embassies/consulates have established secure online forms for this purpose. Others may request an email. Check recent alerts on the embassy/consulate website for instructions.

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Will the Embassy arrange transportation from my location to the evacuation airport?

Passengers are responsible for their own transportation to the departure airport.  If you are in a country where travel by road is restricted, contact the Embassy or consulate.

Last Updated: April 7, 2020