Health Alert – U.S. Embassy, Kathmandu, Nepal

March 28, 2020

Location:  Nepal Countrywide

Event:  COVID-19 Response

Once again, the Embassy would like to thank U.S. citizens for their patience while we work through a complicated set of details between the Embassy, airlines, the Government of Nepal, and Washington, DC, to set up transportation opportunities for U.S. citizens to depart Kathmandu and proceed to the U.S.  As we mentioned yesterday, we already experienced success organizing travel for groups of U.S. citizens returning from Lukla and Pokhara, some of whom have arrived today, and have worked with Nepali government officials in Mustang and Dolakha to allow citizens to travel to Kathmandu.  We are currently focused on coordinating with the Nepal Tourism Board and Chief District Officers to assist groups of citizens in the southeast of Nepal, in Chitwan, and in the Kapilbastu/Nawalparasi area who are unable to travel to Kathmandu.  For those in tourist airport towns, such as Lukla and Pokhara, Nepal Tourism Board has organized and may continue to organize flights to facilitate tourist travel.  (https://www.welcomenepal.com/; email: crisiscell@ntb.org.np)

The Embassy’s primary goal is to provide an option for citizens to return to the U.S.  The efforts to return citizens to Kathmandu is in support of that primary goal.  We are coordinating with the Department of State to procure two charter flights that will likely take passengers as far as Dulles airport near Washington, DC.  Although we may need to adjust our timeline, we are hopeful that the first flight will be able to depart Kathmandu on Tuesday, March 31.  At this time we are thinking that the second flight will follow on Thursday, April 2.  Again, this hoped for timeline is not set in stone.

There have been many questions about how much this flight will cost and whether each passenger will be expected to pay for the flight up front.  The first question is a difficult one to answer at this time because we are still working with the airline and Washington on final arrangements.  However, what we can say is that the price will be no greater than the amount of a full-fare economy flight that would have been charged immediately prior to the events giving rise to this evacuation.  As for the second question, the answer is a clear “no.”  In fact, we will not have the capability of accepting payment even if you want to pay up front.  Payment will be arranged through the Department of State after arrival in the U.S.

In order to be included on one of these repatriation flights, we will ask each individual traveling alone and one member of each family to complete U.S. government form DS-5528, Evacuee Manifest and Promissory Note.  You must submit the form to Embassy consular staff before you will be allowed to board one of the repatriation flights.  Part of this form is a Privacy Act Waiver on which you can decide whether you authorize the Department of State to provide information about you should anyone contact us asking questions about you.  You do not have to waive this right, but you may decide to waive this right if a family member, friend, individual member of Congress, etc., contacted us inquiring about you.

We again want to thank everyone who completed the separate online form to provide your information for us.  It has been most important for us to hear from those of you who are certain that you want to be included on an evacuation flight from Kathmandu.  For those who still have not filled out the online form, but who want to be considered for an evacuation flight, please click on the link below.  The previous link was rather unwieldy, so we have shortened it.

https://bit.ly/2JcPBhD

Finally, we again ask for your patience and request that all citizens shelter in place as we collect further details about approved onward travel.  If any part of this email prompts questions, or if the information here is not clear, please send us an email at consktm@state.gov.  We have had a consular team in the office every day 8:00 am to 5:00 pm since the government lockdown began, and we will continue to be in the office to answer your questions as they arise.  You can reach us at 01-423-4000.  After the hours listed above, we have a duty officer available to answer calls, who can be reached through the Embassy phone number.

Please see U.S. Ambassador Randy Berry’s message to U.S. citizens:  https://twitter.com/USAmbNepal/status/1243818831266476032?s=20

Actions to Take:

  • Consult the Government of Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population website for the latest updates on the health situation in Nepal.
  • Consult the Government of Nepal’s Immigration Department website for the latest updates about immigration restrictions in Nepal.
  • Consult the U.S. Embassy website for updates on Nepal-specific COVID-19 information, entry to and exit from Nepal, quarantine information, and for other local resource contact information.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. 

Assistance: