Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: As of April 1, authorities expand significant travel restrictions in Equatorial Guinea to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

This alert affects Equatorial Guinea

This alert began 01 Apr 2020 12:43 GMT and is scheduled to expire 18 Apr 2020 21:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through mid-April
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Equatorial Guinea announced further restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Isolation measures affecting all regions on continental Equatorial Guinea are in effect as of April 1. It is currently unclear what these measures will entail but travel restrictions and curfews are highly likely. These measures will be in place for 14 days and may be extended. Authorities will also increase security at land border crossing points.

The government closed all land, sea, and air borders March 12. Authorities will make exceptions for commercial goods; however, intermittent repatriation flights are ongoing. The government has urged the postponement of public gatherings. All Equatorial Guinea diplomatic missions abroad will suspend the issuance of entry visas. All restrictions and recommendations are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the government of Equatorial Guinea correspond with similar actions taken by other regional governments in recent weeks 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. The WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic March 11.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Carry proper identification documents to present at security checks. Heed all official advisories and remain nonconfrontational 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.

Resources
World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int