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The Financial Express

US embassy issues travel alert for its citizens in BD

FE ONLINE REPORT | Published: April 09, 2020 12:34:23 | Updated: April 09, 2020 14:41:19


US embassy issues travel alert for its citizens in BD

The US embassy in Dhaka has issued a travel alert for its citizens in Bangladesh amid the coronavirus outbreak.

To this effect, the embassy and the US Department of State are working to arrange a potential special chartered flight for the citizens and their families.

However, the flight is not yet authorised or confirmed, but the embassy is targeting Monday, April 13, for a departure from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka and an arrival the following day at Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C.

The statement was made through a message on its website on Wednesday.

In another message on the same day the embassy said that including the consular section it would be closed today (Thursday, April 09) in observance of Shab-e-Barat, and on Tuesday, April 14, in observance of the Bengali New Year.

Emergency services for the American citizens will be available on both the holidays. The citizens are requested to call (88) (02) 5566-2000 to speak with the duty officer.

If the flight is authorised, the embassy expects this may be the final US government-organised flight to return to the United States from Bangladesh during the COVID-19 crisis.

It urged the US citizens, wishing to return home, to take advantage of this opportunity or to be prepared to remain in Bangladesh until commercial flights resume, according to the statement.

“If you wish to travel to Washington, D.C. on this flight, even if you previously filled out a form, please provide your information here.  Please do not call the Embassy to confirm your information; we will e-mail you if you are confirmed for a seat on this flight”, it said.

“Please understand this flight is not free.  All passengers will need to reimburse the U.S. Government for the cost of the flight. A legal document, called a promissory note, for the full cost of the flight must be signed by each adult passenger before boarding.  Currently, we do not know the cost of each ticket”, the statement stated.

“No cash or credit card payments will be accepted at the airport.  Please review payment information on promissory notes (DS-5528) here. While your passport will not be canceled, U.S. citizens who have signed a loan agreement for repatriation may not be eligible for new passports until the loan is repaid”, it added.

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