Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Algeria impose 1300-0700 nationwide curfew and restrict movement for Eid Al-Fitr May 24-25 to slow spread of COVID-19.

This alert affects Algeria

This alert began 19 May 2020 20:24 GMT and is scheduled to expire 26 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: May 24-25
  • Impact: Business and transport disruptions; heightened security

Authorities in Algeria have announced that they will impose a nationwide 1300-0700 curfew for Eid Al-Fitr (the Feast of Breaking the Ramadan Fast), which is slated to begin May 24 in the country. The measures, which will only be in place for the first two days of Eid Al-Fitr, are to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Authorities have also stated that they will restrict private modes of transport across the country.

Other measures taken by the Algerian government include:

  • Any public gatherings of more than two people are banned, with the exception of people working on curbing the spread of COVID-19.
  • Traffic to and from Blida Province is banned; residents can only travel outside the province with authorization from local authorities.
  • Suspension of all public transportation services, including ride-sharing services; closure of all cafes, restaurants, and shopping centers, except grocery stores, pharmacies, and clinics.
  • Social distancing rules require individuals to remain 1 meter (3 feet) apart when interacting.
  • All public and private schools and universities are closed.
  • Land, air, and sea passenger connections are suspended until further notice; freight transport remains unaffected.

Residents are allowed to perform certain basic tasks, such as shopping for food or other goods from essential businesses, traveling to/from their places of employment, seeking medical assistance, or engaging in individual fitness activities outdoors. Significant transport and business disruptions are likely.

Authorities have tasked the nation's various police departments with enforcing the COVID-19-related measures; violators could face fines or criminal penalties. Officials could amend the order on short notice, depending on the evolution of disease activity in the coming days and weeks.

Background and Analysis
Algeria's preventive measures are similar to actions other governments are taking globally in response to the spread of COVID-19, a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all business appointments and travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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