Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Curacao maintain a shelter-in-place order and 2100-0600 curfew through April 13 due to COVID-19. Other restrictions in place.

This alert affects Curacao

This alert began 08 Apr 2020 15:28 GMT and is scheduled to expire 13 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Curacao (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 13
  • Impact: Movement restrictions, significant transport and business disruptions

Summary
Officials in Curacao are maintaining a shelter-in-place order and an accompanying 2100-0600 curfew for all except essential services through at least April 13. Additionally, the government has prohibited all movements and business operation April 12. The measure is part of their efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). During the shelter-in-place hours, supermarkets, grocery stores, hardware stores, pharmacies, and fuel stations will remain open until 1900 only, until which time residents may make their purchases. Public transport will continue to operate; only one person will be allowed per car. All social gatherings have been banned, and all education facilities remain closed.

Previously, the government canceled most incoming passenger flights through at least April. Only citizens and legal residents are allowed to return to the island. Foreigners may also fly out of the island nation, but authorities banned foreign travel for Curacao residents. Maritime traffic has also been suspended, except for cargo transport.

Significant transport and business disruptions are likely. A larger than usual police presence is probable in the streets. 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