Severity: Critical Alert
Entry/Exit: Authorities in Dominican Republic extend state of emergency, nightly curfew through at least May 17 to curb the spread of COVID-19.
This alert affects Dominican Republic
This alert began 30 Apr 2020 09:31 GMT and is scheduled to expire 18 May 2020 12:59 GMT.
- Incident: COVID-19-related restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Through at least May 17
- Impact: Significant business and travel disruptions, increased security, possible freight delays
Authorities in the Dominican Republic have again extended the state of emergency order through at least May 17 as part of the nation's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Under the state of emergency, existing restrictions will remain unchanged, including a nationwide 1700-0600 curfew.
During curfew hours, only persons working in emergency, healthcare, and law enforcement services; the media; transportation of basic goods; or at seaports, airports, and utilities may leave their residences. Between 0600-1700, residents may leave their homes only to perform essential tasks, such as to obtain basic goods or attend to healthcare issues. Nonessential businesses will remain closed through at least May 17. Among the businesses and services that remain open are grocery stores, pharmacies and healthcare facilities, and companies involved in the production and distribution of food and medicine. Authorities lifted an earlier ban on interprovincial passenger travel; however, officials ask that residents restrict such travel to essential situations. All schools and universities remain closed.
The country's land, sea, and air borders have also been closed to passenger traffic until further notice. Cargo transport will not be affected. The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport in the country. Increased police presence is likely in public places to help enforce the restrictions. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.
Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the government of the Dominican Republic correspond with similar actions taken by other regional governments in recent days 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. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
Follow all official instructions. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. 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.