Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Authorities in Cape Verde postpone plans to resume domestic flights through July 15. Easing of measures to continue through October.

  • Alert Begins: 01 Jul 2020 03:29 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 15 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Possible transport and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Cape Verde have announced that domestic flights, which were intended to resume June 30, will not resume until at least July 15 due to the continued spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The postponement of the resumption of domestic flights follows a similar postponement of international flight until August 2020. The resumption of domestic flights will follow the resumption of inter-island sea travel which started June 1. Authorities have also stated that cultural and sporting events will resume Oct. 31. Cargo and humanitarian transport continue to face heightened screening measures.

While the state of emergency restrictions have been relaxed across Cape Verde, some measures remain in place on Santiago. Travel to Santiago, the epicenter of the disease in Cape Verde, remains restricted. Bans on the operations of bars and access to beaches remain in place. Cases of COVID-19 continue to be reported on the island.

Background and Analysis
Cape Verde was one of the first African countries to relax measures to halt the spread of COVID-19 since the WHO declared the disease a pandemic March 11. The country's state of emergency expired on the island of Santiago May 29, after similar measures had been lifted on other islands weeks before. As of July 1, Cape Verde has reported more than 1,200 cases of the disease. 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.

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.

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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