Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Dominican Republic prohibits internal travel through at least April 18 due to COVID-19 activity. Nightly curfew remains in effect 1700-0600.

This alert affects Dominican Republic

This alert began 04 Apr 2020 23:50 GMT and is scheduled to expire 20 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-related restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 18
  • Impact: Border closures, internal movement restrictions, business disruptions; possible freight delays

Summary
Authorities in the Dominican Republic banned travel between municipalities and ordered the military to set up roadblocks and checkpoints to enforce the prohibition as part of the county's efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The ban is set to continue through April 18, as is the country's ongoing nightly 1700-0600 nationwide curfew. The only persons allowed out of their residences during the curfew hours will be those working in emergency, healthcare and law enforcement services; the media; those transporting basic goods; and port, airport, and utilities employees. Others may only leave their homes in the event of an emergency.

In addition to the travel restrictions and curfew, all schools, universities, and nonessential businesses remain closed. Supermarkets, fuel stations, and pharmacies continue to operate. Residents are allowed to leave their homes only to obtain food, medical supplies, or medical attention.

The country's land, sea, and air borders have also been closed since March 19; these measures are likely to remain in place through at least April 18 and may be extended. The government will, however, allow ferries to dock in order to pick up foreign nationals who wish to depart. Cargo transport will not be affected. The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport in the country, with larger-than-usual police presence in the streets. 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.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

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 Organisation (WHO): who.int

Dominican Republic - COVID-19 updates: presidencia.gob.do/coronavirusrd

Dominican Republic - Decrees on restrictions consultoria.gov.do