Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Officials in Barbados impose a 24-hour curfew from 1800 April 3 through at least April 14 due to COVID-19. Other restrictions in place.

This alert affects Barbados

This alert began 03 Apr 2020 12:50 GMT and is scheduled to expire 14 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Movement restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 14
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Barbados will impose a 24-hour curfew from 1800 April 3 through at least April 14 as part of the nation's efforts to curb coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The government had already ordered all nonessential businesses to close; however, supermarkets and minimarts will also be closed under the new curfew. Village shops and pharmacies will remain open but under restricted conditions. Fuel stations will only be opened to essential service providers. All beaches and parks have been closed and the sale of alcohol will be prohibited. Persons who do not adhere to the curfew will be arrested.

Additionally, officials are enforcing a mandatory quarantine order for any person entering the country April 3-14. All persons arriving on the island from any country by air or water will be placed in a government facility for 14 days as part of a mandatory quarantine. The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport in the country, with an increased police presence in the streets. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

While Barbados' airports remain operational, several commercial passenger airlines have canceled international flights and flight availability is severely limited. Cargo aircraft continue to operate normally.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the Barbados government correspond with similar actions taken by other governments globally in recent weeks, in response to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). COVID-19 is 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 WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

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

Government of Barbados - COVID-19 Updates: https://gisbarbados.gov.bb/covid-19