Severity: Critical Alert
Exit/Entry: Authorities in Gambia make wearing face masks in public mandatory as of July 24. Other restrictions in place across the country.
- Alert Begins: 24 Jul 2020 11:45 PM UTC
- Alert Expires: 15 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Transport and business disruptions
Authorities in the Gambia have made wearing face masks in public mandatory as part of the nation's efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as of July 24.
Authorities allowed markets and religious establishments to reopen from June 6; markets can operate 0600-1800 daily. High schools were allowed to reopen from June 8. Restrictions that remain in place include:
- Authorities continue to enforce the closure of the country's land and sea borders until further notice; the measure does not apply freight or security personnel.
- Authorities continue the suspension of flights until further notice, though emergency and cargo planes can continue to operate.
- All arriving passengers to Gambia will undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine in government-run facilities.
Authorities could ease further restrictions or introduce additional preventative measures depending on the disease activity in the coming days and weeks.
Background and Analysis
Gambia has maintained travel restrictions following a small number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country. The restrictive measures correspond with similar actions taken by other governments globally in recent months 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.
Reconfirm all travel plans. Follow all official directives. Abide by national health and safety measures. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Prepare for freight delivery disruptions. Consider delaying or detouring goods. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation.
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.