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News 2020 - Cape Verde - September Update - Essential Travel

News 2020 - Cape Verde - September Update - Essential Travel

News 2020 - Cape Verde - September Update - Essential Travel

Cheryl Thomas - Saturday, September 05, 2020
News 2020 - Cape Verde - September Update - Essential Travel

Hi All,

The September News page is up and running on the new system. However, a few newsletter subscribers have contacted me to ask why they can't get into view the news. As mentioned in the last newsletter, the website was in the process of being moved (migrated) from one hosting system to another and, as from the 1st September most of the folders were migrated to the new system and  that changed from a site starting with http;//, to https:// . This means that now, unless you have the letter 's' after http (https://) at the start of the website link, you will not be able to access the news or other information on the website, this is the same for any previous news links you were sent for the Cape Verde Tips website i.e.for the July News and August News.

The new full link for September is:   https://www.capeverdetips.co.uk/news-cape-verde/september-2020


Following the transfer of files across from the previous system to the new system, I noticed some files hadn't been transferred across during migration, these included the email category lists, this I hope will be rectified so I can email newsletter subscribers who have opted to receive news updates from Cape Verde Tips. In the meantime, news is still 'News' and I will continue to post updates on the 'SEPTEMBER NEWS 2020' and hope that most of you have been able to work out what to do to access the website news, using the https'// as mentioned above.


There are those trying to use the air corridor to travel in and out of Cape Verde. In August the international TAP flight through the Lisbon air corridor was only possible through Praia on the island of Santiago or Sao Vicente. Some people have managed to travel out of Cape Verde via this air corridor, without too many issues, while others have had a difficult time. 

Those leaving Cape Verde and planning to obtain a PCR test in Praia are currently experiencing problems with getting a PCR result in time for them to catch their international flight. However, one person with a German passport traveling from Praia to Lisbon to Berlin was told by TAP she didn't need a PCR test to travel, she wasn't leaving the airport at Lisbon, only getting a connecting flight to Berlin. This person was given this info in writing by TAP and, managed to get on the flight without a PCR test, however, on arrival in Berlin, she did receive a PCR test! This may be different for those traveling to other countries!

For most people, the problem is the Cape Verde authorities have requested proof of a PCR test being carried out therefor, most people traveling out, don't want to be refused onward travel to Lisbon, so they arrange for a test to be done on Praia to be on the safe side. Some travelers travel to Praia from other islands 4-5 days before they intend flying out of Cape Verde, as it can take 3 days to get the result of the test and necessary paperwork (if your lucky). There are so many tales from frustrated travelers, from those who have argued their case with airport officials, and ending up either not flying or being fortunate enough to make it in time to get to the airport. The process is frustrating and NOT easy. Many travelers hoped the air corridor would have started out and into Sal Island to/from Lisbon in September, but an announcement was made that the opening of this  route was being cancelled.  

Those that have traveled into Cape Verde via Lisbon also had to produce necessary documents to prove they meet the criteria as one of the categories of 'Essential Travel' into Cape Verde. Some people have been refused from flying to CV at Lisbon for not having the right proof to show they are travelling for 'essential reasons' There are many reports from people who have traveled of others who  were refused their onward flight! I'm informed there was one person that reached Praia who was refused a flight onto Sal, because of not meeting the criteria and reportedly, had to return to Lisbon.

Here we have one instance on the 4th September, where a traveler expresses his frustration with trying to get his PCR test result in Praia, in time to fly to Lisbon that night. Click on PDF.



Those of you that know Ken from Sal Beach Club may know he used the air corridor to travel to the UK via Lisbon in August and needed to return to Sal this week (5th-7th Sept).

Ken used the free NHS service to have his PCR test done, they advise it may take up to 5 days for the result (I think). You can reach them through their website or dial 119 to get in touch with NHS Covid testing and they ask you questions and tell you where to go for the test and the date and the time. Ken went to a place in Deeside on 2nd at 8am....... he received the results on 4th Sept, timed at 8:11a.m. (The date and time of test on doc is important.

Ken had a TAP flight from Manchester to Lisbon on Sunday 6th with a connecting flight with TAP from there to Praia (Santiago),  your luggage goes straight through to Praia which is great as you don't need to collect it at Lisbon for another flight. The Manchester flight arrived in Lisbon at 6pm, then he got the 10pm flight to Praia and stayed over night in Praia. I wouldn't want to guess what happens if you decided to leave the airport at Lisbon, if you had time between flights that is, God knows what you'd have to go through to get back in through Passport Control etc...... its bad enough just getting the connection, as you'll see below. 

My story starts so sit down (it's not good reading).

Manchester to Lisbon perfect no papers needed only had to fill in a form.
TIP - Check in opens 1 1/2 hours before flight,  so don't waste time going early because the check in desk number doesn't go up before then!


TIP - Go the bistro but don't get the meals (rip off). Get a toasted panini and maybe a  half bottle red or white wine, you may need it, great prices! Free to charge mobile and use wifi .... nice relaxing start.

At Lisbon I had to fill in the normal form before flying with TAP, that asked me the same details as for my previous TAP flight from Manchester.

These TAP flights from Lisbon usually go from 40 to 43 gates. I was already in the queue when flight was called. They have special security personnel going along to people in the queue checking passport, covid-19 PCR result and papers etc. They turned to me and asked for my papers. I showed them my PCR test result from the NHS, of course it was in English, it was dated the 4th at 8:11a.m. so it was within the 72hrs, they said they couldn't accept that (as it was in English). They asked me for the reason for travelling, I told them I lived on Sal for 7 years and had a business there, they said you have no special reason to get this flight!! Heart started pumping fast! I then showed them my residents stamp in passport, they said that didn't count (I think they wanted to see my green Residence Card, but I didn't have it as I have applied for it but I am waiting for that to be sent to me from Praia, in meantime I have to renew my visa for 6 months till the Residence card arrives, that was the visa stamp in my passport) .. .... I replied ' I am a resident ' They answered: NO.
Next I showed them my business papers showing I am the Director and owner of Sal Beach Club, it had my name on the document and it was in Portuguese....They said no, that wasn't enough .........what! (heart pumping faster, getting even more stressed).
Next, I show them the deeds  to my apartment on Sal with my name on ... No, sorry, that doesn't count!.... what!!
By now I felt like a criminal, they were refusing to let me through for the flight to Praia. 
I was .imagining being stuck in Lisbon at 10pm at night, having to try and get a flight back UK. The stress of it all and knowing I'd be loosing my flight from Praia to Sal, so how would I get all the luggage I had back to the UK, then thinking I'd be stuck in UK for God knows how long......... ahhhh. 
Enough! ......I then asked to speak to the TAP supervisor and told her these people were off there heads. She thankfully spoke English, whereas the other people that had been checking my documents, didn't speak much English. The TAP supervisor could see my NHS-PCR document was official and it was in date!!!!!. She looked at my other documents and then authorised me to board the flight to Praia (what a flippin relief). However, by that time I was the last to take my seat, honestly, I really did feel that I could have had a heart attack. NEVER will I say to anyone to do this route back to Sal. 
As far as I was aware I had all the right paperwork for 'Essential Travel'... I do not know or understand what these guys checking papers were expecting me to produce....there is no specific information about this, we can only provide what we think is what they want to see. 

CVTIPS NOTE: These are extreme circumstances in which some people need to travel, surely at Lisbon, they can't expect foreigners that speak other languages, traveling from non-Portuguese speaking countries to produce PCR tests paper result in Portuguese? You couldn't get them officially translated and notorised and returned to your address in time before leaving for the airport! 

So, what ownership documents, what business documents do they want you to produce in Lisbon? Do these people have training in what they expect 'Essential Travelers' to produce......... most people with work contracts here in Cape Verde, produce those, but for the other things mentioned for Business or Property Ownership, anyone know which docs they expect travelers to produce?  


So Ken gets to Praia:  I get to Praia, I embarked from plane and into airport arrivals at 02:00hrs, it was here I felt like I was being interrogated.  Then, after a full baggage inspection, I got through  at 3.30am. I took a taxi to take me to the accommodation I had booked for the night, the same place I had used when heading back to UK via Praia in August.


For your onward flight to Sal, you NEED a Rapid Blood Test done in Praia..... this is a blood sample test taken from your finger. 

TIP :  the rapid test MUST be taken on the the SAME DAY that you are due to fly on to Sal . Unfortunately, I first went for the test at the place I had used prior to my departure to the UK, but I didn't know the test centre for rapid testing was now at other venues in Praia, I was then told to go to the football stadium, so I got in a taxi to take me there. I needed my test result done that morning to be able to fly on to Sal later that day.

There were around 300 people at the new site (the football stadium) waiting to have the rapid test. No-one knowing what the heck was going. Someone official came forward and handed  out two different coloured tickets, one they said was for PCR the other for Rapid Test, they tell you at the time which colour is for which test. However, everyone dashed forward to get them, it was chaos.. There were only 2 tents (one was closed when I got there at 8a.m.). I didn't know that the 2nd tent was for rapid testing wouldn't open till 10a.m., neither did others waiting for the Rapid test that had arrived early, some of whom had earlier flights that day than mine! The other tent had with 3 people testing apparently was for PCR tests. TIP: You MUST go and pay at the office before you go join any queue for the test (I was told I would need to pay 200 esc for rapid test, but when I got to the desk they wanted 1000esc). Some people didn't know about needing to pay first and get a receipt, so after they'd joined the queue and reached the front of it, they were told to go and pay first, then they then had to join the back of the queue again!!! 

Then after the blood sample was taken, they told you to go to the original office, a taxi ride away, where you had to join another queue to wait to have your covid test papers, that takes another 1-2hrs, Some people were distraught as they thought or knew they were going to miss their flights that day ........ It was total mayhem. I know you might hate me for this but I borrowed the receptionist walking stick and went with a limp and got to front of the queue. I got my paper work, 3 docs from them, I checked it had my name on the documents. TIP - always worth checking they haven't made a mistake and spelt your name wrong or different to whats on your passport BEFORE you leave the test result centre ......TIP:  There were people that turned up at airport having had the test the day before flying onto Sal, they were refused the flight as their test result was not taken the same day!!!


You are not aloud in the terminal until a 1 1/2 hour before your flight.  However, if you get there earlier at least you have a chance of somewhere to shelter in the shade or the rain if you are at the front of the queue outside. You have to fill in more papers before flying. You also need to have a scan and your picture is taken as you go through. Show your covid quick test result at check in, you  show all papers and here is why I say you need the rapid test done that day, as 3 people who had the rapid test done the day before they were due to travel on my flight, were sent away in tears, they weren't allowed to fly.

The flight to Sal from Praia was due to depart at 16:00hrs. We were half way to Sal when the plane had to turn back due to adverse weather conditions on Sal (Tropical Storm Rene). Then we boarded a 2nd time and we were then told there was a technical problem. I eventually reached Sal around 7.45p.m. More checks on way through but at least I was home after a nightmare of a journey.


DO NOT travel at the moment unless urgent, you will be stressed before, during and after arrival... I was near to having a nervous breakdown, really,  and I travel a lot. Wait until covid-19 is over (if it ever will be), no-one knows how to deal with it, especially in planes and airports. Sorry for bad news. All I know is Sal Beach Club is screwed until Jan/ Feb minimum.... devastated after this. Please note: Circumstances may change from week to week at moment. KEN.

CVTips NOTE: No-one knows when the borders will re-open to tourism, so keep checking for news updates. Changes may be introduced by Governments re air corridor or conditions of travel may change for departure or arrival in a country......... Please avoid asking us if the CV borders are/will be open or if or when Sal Airport is/will be open to commercial flights..... we don't know!

LINK - ESSENTIAL TRAVEL - Further travel experiences will be added to the 'September News.


Many will recall Tropical Storm Fred which visited Cape Verde 5 years ago (Aug 31st).  As a reminder of what happened on that day, please see our short video taken from Hotel Odjo d'Agua Hotel, Santa Maria: YOUTUBE - Tropical Storm FRED.

There are alerts being posted as potential threats from weather conditions heading towards Cape Verde, that could potentially become large storms or hurricanes. Sometimes these depressions head off out to sea before reaching the islands. The recent announcement on 7th September being: A Tropical Depression that has now evolved into Tropical Storm RENE and whose formation is associated with a low pressure center coming from the west African coast in the west / northwest direction..... RENE did reach ours shores Monday night. There will me more warnings this month. 

The National Hurricane Center releases a track when a system develops or is about to develop into a tropical depression. NOLA - Monitoring Tropical Depression



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