Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Domestic flights resume in Cape Verde since July 15. Easing of COVID-19 restrictions to continue through October.

  • Alert Begins: 17 Jul 2020 01:30 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 03 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions

Summary
Domestic flights resumed across Cape Verde July 15 as part of the continued easing of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions. Travelers to and from the disease epicenters of Santiago and Sal will need to present a negative COVID-19 test taken up to 72 hours before the flight.

The planned resumption had been postponed from June 30 following reports of the continued spread of the disease across the islands. The resumption of domestic flights follows the resumption of inter-island sea travel, which started June 1. International flights remain suspended through at least Aug. 1, possibly longer. Cargo and humanitarian transport continue to face heightened screening measures. Authorities have also stated that cultural and sporting events will resume Oct. 31.

While the state of emergency restrictions have been relaxed across much of Cape Verde, some measures remain in place on Santiago and Sal, where cases of COVID-19 continue to be reported. Bans on the operations of bars and access to beaches remain in place.

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. 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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