The U.S. Department of State is rising to meet the historic challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, every day, all over the world. The State Department has launched an unprecedented global effort to bring home our citizens from every corner of the globe and has repatriated thousands of Americans from multiple countries. Today, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Ian G. Brownlee discussed these efforts with the media and emphasized that we are committed to helping U.S. citizens return home.
As of 6:30 PM EDT on April 7, 2020, the State Department has coordinated the repatriation of more than 46,300 Americans from 81 countries since January 29, 2020, and we have received more than 33,000 calls to the State Department’s call center since March 21, 2020. In the coming days, our teams, working around-the-clock in Washington and overseas, will bring home thousands more from every region of the world. You can find our latest repatriation statistics here.
At present, the Department of State is making every effort to assist U.S. citizens overseas who wish to return to the United States. To date, we have used a wide variety of flight options, including chartered flights, in-house resources, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense resources, and U.S. airlines commercial rescue flights.
American citizens who wish to return to the United States should make arrangements to do so now. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens should arrange for immediate return to the United States by commercial carrier, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.
In places where commercial flights have stopped, the State Department continues to work with countries and commercial carriers to arrange for special temporary commercial rescue flights for people who want to come home. You can find additional, country-specific information on the travel.state.gov website.
If you’re an American overseas, whether you intend to return home or remain where you are, we encourage you to read our latest Travel Advisories in their entirety and to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP is a free service that allows U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Through STEP, you will receive important information about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans. Enrollment also helps the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency. For more information and to enroll, go to step.state.gov.