Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Dominica extend movement restrictions and curfew through at least May 11 due to COVID-19. Other measures remain in place.

This alert affects Dominica

This alert began 10 Apr 2020 10:00 GMT and is scheduled to expire 11 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: International and internal transport disruptions, significant business disruptions, increased security

Summary
Authorities in Dominica have extended their current movement restriction orders through at least May 11. The measure is to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and was previously due to expire April 20. Under the measure, the government will enforce a 1800-0600 curfew on weekdays, with a 24-hour total curfew on weekends. 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. The curfew is an escalation of government's previous ban on all gatherings of more than 10 people, closure of all night clubs and sporting facilities, and 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. Sea ports are unaffected. The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport on the island, with likely increased police presence in the streets. 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 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. 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.

Resources
World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int