Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Azerbaijan extends nationwide quarantine until Aug. 31, and strict quarantine in certain areas, including Baku, until Aug. 3.

  • Alert Begins: 20 Jul 2020 03:57 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 03 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business and transport disruptions ongoing

Summary
Authorities in Azerbaijan have extended the nationwide quarantine regime and constituent restrictions until Aug. 31 as part of efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Protective face coverings are mandatory in enclosed or crowded public spaces. Public gatheirngs may not exceed 10 persons. Educational institutions and many nonessential businesses are closed.

Additionally, special quarantine restrictions have been extended until Aug. 3 in parts of the country with elevated disease activity including Baku, Jalilabad, Ganja, Lankaran, Masalli, Sumgayit, Yevlakh, Absheron, Goranboy, Goygol, Mingachevir, Barda, Khachmaz, Samukh, Siyazan, and Sheki. In these areas, residents are required to obtain permission via SMS to leave their homes for essential activities. Most nonessential businesses and facilities are closed for the duration of the special quarantine. The Baku Metro is closed until at least Aug. 5, and public transport in other areas under the special quarantine is suspended on weekends through Aug. 3.

Authorities have extended the suspension of passenger flights and closure of land borders through Aug. 1. The restrictions do not apply to emergency and cargo flights. All travelers entering Azerbaijan are subject to a 14-day mandatory quarantine at government-operated facilities.

All measures are subject to amendment at short notice, depending on disease activity. Further such temporary and localized restrictions are likely in response to reports of rising case numbers.

Background and Analysis
Azerbaijan's reimposition of previously eased restrictive measures is in response to rising numbers of COVID-19 infections in the parts of the country. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. Authorities will monitor the epidemiological situation in the country when considering whether to further extend or relax restrictive measures in the coming weeks.

As countries relax blanket restrictions, authorities could begin to reintroduce sporadic, highly targeted measures in response to local COVID-19 outbreaks. Such measures could apply to neighborhoods or specific facilities, including schools, factories, or accommodation and office blocks. Mandatory social distancing procedures in public places and on public transport, as well as widespread voluntary “self-policing” by residents, will assist in reducing the potential for contagion, negating the necessity for a large-scale, blanket reintroduction of significant restrictions.

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 may 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. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. 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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