Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: French Guiana eases COVID-19 restrictions in some areas, and enforces differential local curfews as of July 25.

  • Alert Begins: 25 Jul 2020 03:22 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 07 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): French Guiana (map)
  • Start Time/Date: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions

Summary
As of July 25, authorities in French Guiana have begun easing restrictive measures previously introduced in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Different curfews will be imposed in western French Guiana and certain coastal towns and eastern French Guiana. These areas will be classified into two groups, with slightly more relaxed measures for Group 1, which are primarily in the east of the territory:

 

  • Group 1: A 1900-0500 curfew Mondays to Fridays, and from 1900 Saturdays to 0500 Mondays, will be enforced in Camopi, Cayenne, Iracoubo, Kourou, Macouria, Matoury, Montsinnery-Tonnegrande, Regina, Remire-Montjoly, Roura, Saint-Georges, and Sinnamary.

 

  • Group 2: A 1700-0500 curfew Mondays to Fridays, and from 1700 Saturdays to 0500 Mondays, will be enforced in Saint-Laurent du Maroni, Apatou, Awala-Yalimapo, Grand-Santi, Mana, Maripasoula, and Papaichton.

 


Nationwide restrictions remain mostly unchanged. Residents must still wear protective face coverings whenever in public. Group 1 municipalities may now open restaurants and cafes for outdoor dining only. The sale of alcohol is prohibited 18000-0800 in Group 1 municipalities, and 1600-0800 in Group 2. All team sports and any gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. Additional traffic restrictions are in place in the border commune of Saint Georges.

Most nonresident foreign nationals remain banned from entering French Guiana until further notice. Residents and citizens can travel to/from Metropolitan France and the French Antilles for family, health, or professional reasons, but must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Diplomats, healthcare workers, and airline crews can also enter French Guiana, as well as nonresident foreign nationals who are in transit to their home country; these travelers must remain in the international zone of the airport. The Oyapock River Bridge crossing from Brazil is closed. There are no restrictions on cargo shipments and humanitarian travel. All measures are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The restrictions implemented in French Guiana are similar to actions taken by other governments globally in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, which the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic March 11. Several governments have begun recovery plans to lift some of the disease-related restrictions due to the need to allow some economic recovery. Should the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increase, relaxed restrictions may be reapplied. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in further relaxation of restrictions. Authorities could impose highly targeted localized measures in some municipalities and communes.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. 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.


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