Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Coronavirus-related travel and business restrictions remain in place across French Guiana as of early July. Local curfews in effect.

  • Alert Begins: 09 Jul 2020 10:26 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 31 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): French Guiana (map)
  • Start Time/Date: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions

Numerous travel and business restrictions remain in place in French Guiana as of early July as part of the departmental administration's effort to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). 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. Cargo shipments and humanitarian travel remain permitted. 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.

Localized curfews are still in effect in a number of townships. A nightly 1700-0500 curfew is in force Monday through Friday, with weekend lockdowns running from 1300 Saturday to 0500 Monday in Camopi, Cayenne, Iracoubo, Kourou, Macouria, Matoury, Montsinery-Tonnegrande, Roura, Regina, Remire-Montjoly, Saint-Georges and Sinnamary. Similar curfews, albeit with weekend lockdowns beginning at 1700 each Saturday, are in effect in Apatou, Awala-Yalimapo, Grand-Santi, Mana, Maripasoula, Papaichton, and Saint-Laurent du Maroni.

Some neighborhoods within the municipalities of Cayenne, Kourou, Macouria, Matoury, Montsinery, Remire-Montjoly, and Saint-Laurent du Maroni are under 24-hour quarantine orders due to increased COVID-19 activity. Residents may leave their homes only to perform essential tasks.

Nationwide, residents must wear protective face coverings whenever in public, and many businesses remain closed, including restaurants and bars for dine-in services, theaters, and cinemas. Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.

Significant transport and business disruptions remain likely. Additional security personnel will probably remain deployed to assist in enforcing the measures. Authorities could tighten, extend, ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the government in French Guiana are similar to actions adopted by other governments globally 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. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

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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