Severity: Warning Alert

Exit/Entry: Authorities in Equatorial Guinea ease COVID-19 restrictions June 15. Transport disruptions likely to persist.

  • Alert Begins: 15 Jun 2020 01:50 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 22 Jun 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through June
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions

Authorities in Equatorial Guinea, June 13, announced the easing of restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Restrictions and health measures in place until June 15 will lapse without extension. From June 15, restaurants, shops, places of worship, and hotels will be allowed to reopen, provided they follow hygiene standards. Nightclubs and entertainment venues will remain closed. The resumption of academic activities, also on June 15, will be directed by the Ministry of Education.

Domestic air travel is also expected to resume June 15, and commercial international flights are possible in the coming days after authorities announced measures affecting international travelers. All arrivals must display a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 48 hours before travel. Interdistrict travel, including between the island of Malabo and continental Equatorial Guinea, can resume. It is currently unclear if land and sea borders have been reopened.

All measures are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews; further details on the easing of restrictions are likely in the coming weeks as authorities introduce other phases of the plan.

Background and Analysis
The almost blanket lifting of measures comes despite the continued reports of COVID-19 cases in Equatorial Guinea. 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 WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic March 11.

Monitor for updates on remaining restrictions. Follow all official instructions. Carry proper identification documents to present at security checks. Heed all official advisories and remain non-confrontational if stopped by authorities. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays and possibly result in quarantine. Carry proper identification documents to present at security checks. Shipping disruptions may occur; consider delaying or rerouting shipments.

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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