Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Officials in CAR maintain restrictive measures, including international flight and border restrictions, as of May 26, due to COVID-19.

This alert affects Central African Republic

This alert began 26 May 2020 13:23 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Commercial flight and business disruptions

Summary
As of May 26, authorities in the Central African Republic (CAR) continue to enforce restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19. Bangui-M'Poko International Airport (BGF) has been closed to international commercial passenger traffic since April 1. Cargo and humanitarian flights are ongoing, as are occasional repatriation flights. Land border crossings with the Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Cameroon, Sudan, and South Sudan are closed to commercial travel. Enhanced screening measures are in place at all other ports of entry. Persons entering CAR from locations with local transmission of COVID-19 are required to self-isolate for 14 days. Social distancing measures, including movement restrictions, are being enforced in Bangui.

All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews and may receive updates or extensions in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
Numerous countries have adopted several restrictions to halt the spread of COVID-19. Countries which neighbor CAR have also closed borders and restricted flights to halt the spread of the disease in recent days. The viral respiratory disease is 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. 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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