Severity: Critical Alert
Exit/Entry: Authorities in Algeria reimpose COVID-19 restrictions in Setif Province from July 8 following rise in number of cases.
- Alert Begins: 08 Jul 2020 01:51 AM UTC
- Alert Expires: 15 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: Restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Business and transport disruptions; heightened security
Authorities in Algeria have announced plans to reimpose a 1300-0500 curfew in 18 of Setif Province's municipalities from July 8 through at least July 22 as part of the nation's efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). During the curfew hours, businesses will remain closed, private and public modes of transport will also remain suspended.
Authorities previously extended the 2000-0500 daily curfew in 29 provinces, including Algiers, Constantine, Blida, Oran, and Bejaia, through at least July 13 to combat COVID-19.
The first phase of reopening, which enabled construction companies, real estate agencies, travel agencies, fruit markets, bakeries, men's hair salons, and government institutions to resume work, began June 7.
Other restrictions eased across Algeria include:
- Resumption of public transport in all 48 provinces.
- Taxis and ride-sharing companies can resume operations; however, taxi drivers can have only one client at a time.
- Reopening of women's hair salons, driving schools, and vehicle rental companies.
- Reopening of restaurants in provinces where officials have lifted the lockdown.
Other measures taken by the Algerian government include:
- Residents must wear protective face coverings when in public until further notice, including in vehicles. Failure to comply with the edict will result in legal action; authorities have not elaborated on legal action.
- Social-distancing rules requiring individuals to remain 1 meter (3 feet) apart is necessary when interacting with others.
- All public and private schools and universities are closed until further notice.
- Land, air, and sea passenger connections remain suspended until further notice; freight transport remains unaffected.
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.