Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Authorities in Equatorial Guinea have eased some COVID-19 measures and restrictions as of Sept. 21; international air travel ongoing.

Alert Begins 22 Sep 2020 02:56 PM UTC
Alert Expires 12 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

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

Summary
As of Sept. 21, authorities in Equatorial Guinea have eased some restrictions previously in place to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

International Travel
International and domestic air travel has resumed. All arriving passengers must produce proof of having tested negative for COVID-19 using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken within 48 hours before travel. Interdistrict travel, including between the island of Malabo and continental Equatorial Guinea, has resumed. It is currently unclear if land and sea borders have been reopened.

Domestic Measures
Markets, places of worship, and cultural events have been resume operations nationwide, as have sporting leagues, public parks, bars, and casinos. Such establishments and facilities may operate at no more than 50-percent capacity, however. Health officials had launched Phase 1 of the plan on June 15, initially permitting restaurants, shops, places of worship, and hotels to operate provided they comply with certain mandates on hygiene and social distancing. Nightclubs and entertainment venues remain closed. Schools are reopening, and classes resumed from Sept. 1 at 50-percent capacity. Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
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.

Advice
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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