Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Curacao to relax movement and business restrictions, and maintain 2100-0600 curfew, from May 8 due to COVID-19.

This alert affects Curacao

This alert began 08 May 2020 11:00 GMT and is scheduled to expire 15 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Islandwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions, increased security

Summary
Officials in Curacao will relax existing movement and business restrictions, while maintaining the 2100-0600 curfew, starting May 8, until further notice. The previously announced restrictions were slated to end May 10, and form part of the government's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). As of May 8, individuals, businesses, and other establishments will be allowed to operate outside of curfew hours as follows:

  • Stores and businesses, including supermarkets and those previously authorized to operate only for deliveries and pickups, are permitted to open under strict social distancing and sanitation protocols.
  • Restaurants and food trucks may continue to open for curbside takeout and delivery only.
  • Vehicular restrictions based on license plates have been lifted; private vehicles may circulate freely outside the curfew.
  • Beaches will be opened 0600-2000.
  • Caregivers can operate 0600-2000.
  • Public events are prohibited, as are any gatherings of more than 25 people.
  • Individuals must continue to adopt social distancing protocols by maintaining 2 meters (6.5 feet) from each other.


International travel restrictions remain in place. All incoming commercial passenger flights are suspended until further notice. Most maritime traffic to Curacao remains prohibited. The travel restrictions exclude air cargo and cargo vessels, and the arrivals of authorized medical personnel and legal residents. Flight crews must remain in quarantine while they remain on the island. All inbound passengers will subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

Transport and business disruptions are likely to persist even after some restrictions have been relaxed. Authorities will likely maintain an increased police presence deployed to enforce the curfew. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The restrictions taken by authorities in Curacao are similar to actions taken by other governments globally 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). The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic March 11. Curacao's decision to relax some measures has likely been taken to allow the economy to reopen. Should the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increase, relaxed restrictions may be reapplied. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in further relaxation of restrictions.

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.


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