Severity: Warning Alert

Exit/Entry: Authorities in the DRC continue to gradually ease COVID-19 restrictions as of Sept. 8. Minimal travel and business disruptions likely.

Alert Begins 08 Sep 2020 12:55 PM UTC
Alert Expires 22 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions, increased security

Summary
Authorities in the DRC continue to gradually ease containment restrictions as of Sept. 8, as part of efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). All land, sea, and air borders have reopened from Aug. 15. Measures which remain in place include the following:

 

  • All inter-provincial travelers are required to produce a negative COVID-19 test taken no less than 72 hours before departure.

 

  • Authorities require a negative COVID-19 test result for international travel no more than 72 hours prior to entering and exiting the DRC.

 

  • Those traveling through airports in the DRC will need to fill out health forms and are subject to medical screenings.

 

  • The wearing of protective face masks is mandatory in public, with increased security measures in place in Kinshasa.

 

  • Places of worship, stadiums, and performance halls have been permitted to reopen; however, social enterprises such as bars remain closed until further notice.

 

  • All schools and universities have reopened.

 

  • Businesses, banks, restaurants, and previously considered nonessential shops have reopened.

 


Officials will continue to administer fines for persons violating COVID-19 regulations. Authorities are likely to amend restrictions and measures with short notice. Security forces have been deployed to ensure compliance and may use force. Those who contravene measures will be liable to pay a fine.

Background and Analysis
The measures adopted by the government correspond with similar actions taken by other regional governments in recent months 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
Reconfirm all planned travel arrangements. Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Consider delaying travel 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.

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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