Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Dominica amend and extend curfew measures through at least May 26 due to COVID-19 activity. Other measures remain in place.

This alert affects Dominica

This alert began 11 May 2020 09:40 GMT and is scheduled to expire 26 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least May 26
  • Impact: International and internal transport disruptions, significant business disruptions, increased security

Summary
Authorities in Dominica have amended and extended their movement restriction orders through at least May 26. The measure is to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and was previously due to expire May 11. Under the new measure, the government will enforce a 1900-0500 curfew Monday-Saturday, with a total curfew from 1800 on Saturdays through 0500 on Mondays. Essential services are exempt from the curfew. Residents will only be allowed to leave their homes outside of curfew hours to seek medical care, purchase necessities, for critical banking services, or for the care of family members, pets, and livestock. Restrictions on the operations of law and accounting firms will be relaxed from May 12. Other existing measures remain in place, including a ban on all gatherings of more than 10 people; the closure of all nonessential businesses and facilities such as night clubs, sporting facilities, schools and churches; and the suspension of all nonessential public services.

All commercial and private passenger flights at Douglas-Charles Airport (DOM) remain suspended until further notice as of March 30. The airport will remain open for medical emergencies, to receive medical supplies and personnel, and for cargo operations. Seaports are unaffected. Dominican cruise workers and students are now permitted to enter the country, but they will be subject to a 14-day mandatory quarantine upon arrival.

The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport on the island. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by authorities in Dominica are similar to actions taken by other governments globally in response to the spread of COVID-19, 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. Some governments have begun relaxing certain domestic restrictive measures in response to indications that the spread of the disease has been adequately contained locally, and due to the need to allow for some economic recovery. Dominican officials have indicated that the relaxing of some restrictions will be considered over the coming weeks. 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. 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. Plan for possible ground shipping and travel delays; seek alternative routes and shipping methods for time-sensitive cargo.

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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