Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: State of emergency extended across Armenia until at least May 14 due to COVID-19. Major movement and travel restrictions in place.

This alert affects Armenia

This alert began 14 Apr 2020 13:50 GMT and is scheduled to expire 14 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Until at least May 14
  • Impact: Business disruptions, movement restrictions, ban on gatherings

Summary
Authorities have extended a nationwide state of emergency until at least May 14 in an effort to combat coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The measure involves the suspension of public transport, with the exception of some rail and taxi services. Individuals are only permitted to leave their homes for essential purposes and are banned from traveling in groups of more than two unless they are from the same household or place of work. People are permitted to leave their homes to travel to and from work, shop for essential goods, travel for medical reasons and go for physical exercise. Individuals intending to leave home must fill out a form to be presented to authorities upon request. Educational institutions, public spaces, and non-essential businesses are closed, and authorities have suspended public events.

Foreign nationals are currently prohibited from entering Armenia from countries the government has deemed as high risk for transmitting COVID-19. Currently, the list includes Australia, Canada, China, Georgia, Iran, Israel, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Turkey, the UK, the US, all EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. The temporary travel ban excludes Armenian citizens, residents and their families, and freight transport. Also, the borders with Iran and Georgia are closed indefinitely, though some freight deliveries are permitted to cross.

All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews and may receive updates or extensions in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
The state of emergency was introduced March 16 and had been due to expire April 14. The measure corresponds with similar actions taken by other regional governments in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV2-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 WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they could prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.

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 a 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.

Resources
Armenia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Coronavirus updates: www.mfa.am

World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int