Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Greenland maintain transport restrictions April 3 to prevent spread of COVID-19. Expect significant business disruptions.

This alert affects Greenland

This alert began 03 Apr 2020 12:16 GMT and is scheduled to expire 10 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Severe travel and business disruptions

Summary
All passenger air travel to and from the country, and domestic flights within the country, remain suspended as of April 3 in an effort to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). All passenger ferry traffic is also suspended. The measures were initially scheduled to last until at least April 3 and 4 respectively, although they look set to continue until further notice. Non-Danish nationals are currently prohibited from entry. The ongoing restrictions do not apply to freight and cargo transport.

All schools in Greenland remain closed and people are prohibited from entering or leaving the capital, Nuuk, until at least April 8. All bars and restaurants have been closed until at least that date, and there is currently a ban on selling alcohol in the capital, as well as in Kapisillit and Qeqertarsuatsiaat. A number of other restrictions are in force, including a ban on public gatherings.

Background and Analysis
The measures the government has taken correspond with similar actions taken by other European governments in recent days 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 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 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.

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
Greenland National Medical Office: nun.gl

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