Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Bolivia extends nationwide quarantine measures until May 10 due to coronavirus activity. Heed the instructions of local authorities.

This alert affects Bolivia

This alert began 30 Apr 2020 00:25 GMT and is scheduled to expire 11 May 2020 07:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least May 10
  • Impact: Transport and commercial disruptions, increased police presence

Bolivian authorities have extended the nation's current quarantine measures through May 10 to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Under the directive, only one person per household is allowed to leave home one designated day a week between the hours of 0700-1200 to purchase groceries and other supplies. The individual must be between 18-65 years old. Shopping days are assigned based on the last digit of the individual's national identification card or passport, as follows:

  • Monday: Last digit is 1 or 2
  • Tuesday: Last digit is 3 or 4
  • Wednesday: Last digit is 5 or 6
  • Thursday: Last digit is 7 or 8
  • Friday: Last digit is 9 or 0

No one is allowed to leave their homes on Saturdays and Sundays. Public and private transport remain suspended; transportation of essential goods, as well as for health and security services, is operating normally. Violations of the quarantine regulations are punishable by fines and incarceration.

Additionally, Bolivia's land borders remain closed to all non-resident foreign nationals; cargo transport is allowed. All international passenger flights remain suspended, and passenger vehicles are prohibited from inter-departmental road travel. According to authorities, the border closures and travel bans will likely last until at least May 30. Officials may expand or extend any of the restrictions currently in place with little-to-no advance notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Bolivian government are similar to actions adopted by other governments globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of 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 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 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.

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.

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