Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Authorities maintain COVID-19 restrictions across Cameroon as of Sept. 17. Limited international air travel ongoing.

Alert Begins 17 Sep 2020 11:02 AM UTC
Alert Expires 02 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and movement restrictions

Summary
As of Sept. 17, authorities in Cameroon have maintained several of the country's restrictions and measures introduced as part of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

International Travel
Land and sea borders remain closed to international travel. However, freight transport via land and sea routes is likely to continue but will be subject to increased screening. Air borders also remain largely closed, but authorities have permitted several airlines to resume limited flights. Services by Air France (AF), Brussels Airlines (SN), and Ethiopia Airlines (ET) will operate out of Douala International Airport (DLA) and Yaounde Nsimalen International Airport (NSI). All citizens and residents intending to travel to Cameroon must present a negative COVID-19 test taken up to 72 hours before the flight. It is currently unclear when regular air travel will resume.

Domestic Measures
The resumption of limited international flights follows the easing of several domestic measures put in place to halt the spread of COVID-19 June 1. Updated measures allow schools and universities to reopen provided they adhere to health guidelines. Previous easing of measures since April 30 has allowed nonessential businesses to remain open past 1800, with limits lifted on local public transportation. All residents are required to wear facemasks. Restrictions on groups of more than 50 people remain in place; however, bars and restaurants have been allowed to reopen. Tax exemptions for certain businesses have also been announced. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the government of Cameroon are likely an attempt to improve economic conditions following a downturn caused by 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. The WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic March 11.

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.


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