Severity: Critical Alert
Entry/Exit: Authorities extend state of health emergency measures through at least May 11 across Gabon to curb spread of COVID-19.
This alert affects Gabon
This alert began 27 Apr 2020 11:21 GMT and is scheduled to expire 11 May 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: Restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Through May 11
- Impact: Movement and travel disruptions
Authorities in Gabon have extended state of health emergency measures across Gabon through at least May 11. As part of the state of emergency, all land, sea, and air borders are closed except for the transport of essential goods. A nationwide nightly curfew is in effect 1930-0600. Social gatherings of more than 10 people are banned.
Travel restrictions are also in place in Greater Libreville as of April 27. The confinement will affect Libreville, Owendo, Akanda, Ntoum, and Pointe Denis. All residents of these areas will be required to stay at home. Exceptions will be made for persons leaving home for essential purposes, such as obtaining food or medicine. Changes to the measures are likely in the coming days.
Additional restrictions are likely in the coming weeks and could be extended in Greater Libreville. The security forces will likely aim to enforce movement restrictions. Clashes are possible between police and persons not complying with regulations. Significant domestic transport and commercial disruptions are likely through early-May.
Background and Analysis
Gabon's travel restrictions and preventive measures correspond with similar actions other governments are taking globally 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.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.
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.