Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Curacao extends shelter-in-place order, entry restrictions through April 27 due to COVID-19. Other restrictions remain in place.

This alert affects Curacao

This alert began 13 Apr 2020 21:50 GMT and is scheduled to expire 27 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Curacao (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 27
  • Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions

Summary
Officials in Curacao have extended their nation's existing shelter-in-place order through at least April 27 as part of the government's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The country's nightly 2100-0600 curfew will also remain in place through April 27. During noncurfew hours, residents may only be out of their homes to perform essential tasks. Private vehicles are allowed on the roads only on specific days, depending on the first letter of their license plate numbers. Grocery stores, hardware stores, pharmacies, and fuel stations may remain open only until 1900. Public transport will operate until 2100. All social gatherings have been banned, and all education facilities remain closed.

The government has also extended through at least April 27 a ban on entry for passengers from abroad, including Curacao residents. Flights are continuing to depart from the island for nonresidents who wish to leave for their home countries. Cargo flights continue to operate. Maritime traffic has also been suspended, except for cargo transport.

Significant transport and business disruptions are likely. Authorities will likely keep an increased police presence deployed to enforce the restrictions. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by authorities in Curacao are similar to actions taken 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. The World Health Organization (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. 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.

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

Government of Curacao: https://gobiernu.cw/