Dear Swedes in South Africa,
As you are all most likely aware President Ramaphosa recently extended the lockdown by an additional two weeks, so that it is now in force until 30 April. I understand that this raises new concerns and more questions about what this means for the situation in South Africa as well as opportunities to return to Sweden. The Embassy is working hard to assist on these matters. During the Easter weekend we are all working from home, but we are available to answer your questions over email.
Since repatriation flights started on 3 April almost 160 Swedes have been able to travel back to Europe. Some additional names have been placed onto flights leaving Cape Town on 15 and 16 April. On our list we now have approximately 60 remaining names, almost exclusively departing from Cape Town. This number keeps going up, as new people are asking to be added and are placed on a reserve list. We know that many are keen to get a clear answer as to when they can get a seat on a plane and we are working very hard to get as many people as possible on the earliest possible flights. We will soon contact those who will be placed on flights 19 and 20 April from Cape Town. We are waiting for confirmation of additional flights after 20 April.
You will appreciate that when filling seats on the repatriation flights we must give special consideration to those with particular reasons to travel, such as belonging to a risk group, families with small children and other compassionate reasons. We also give priority to those who at the end of March asked to be placed on the list.
We want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the repatriation flights are an extraordinary solution in unusual times and we ask all to continue to show patience and understanding for the fact that it takes time to find places for as many as possible of those who have signed up with us.
The Embassy would also like to take this opportunity to extend our warm thanks for the appreciation we have received from many Swedes. It heartens the team that have been working around the clock for the past couple of weeks to assist Swedes in South Africa who need our help. We can’t always meet all requests and wishes, but I can guarantee that we do our very best.
I would also like to say that we are impressed with how our Swedish travellers so quickly, creatively and in cooperation with others have solved their journey to Sweden from different destinations in Europe. You are fantastic and together we will get through these challenging times!