Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Greenland begins easing coronavirus-related restrictions as of April 25. International passenger traffic suspended until June 1.

This alert affects Greenland

This alert began 30 Apr 2020 18:40 GMT and is scheduled to expire 01 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Territorywide (map)
  • Date: April 25
  • Impact: Severe travel and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Greenland began easing restrictions introduced to combat the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) as of April 25. Most businesses, including restaurants, cafes, hairdressers, and beauty salons have been allowed to reopen, provided they limit capacity to half that indicated on their fire safety permits, up to a maximum of 100 people. Schools, along with public and private workplaces, began reopening April 27, provided they take measures to ensure hygiene and comply with social distancing standards.

Domestic travel and public transport have resumed. However, international passenger traffic will remain suspended until at least June 1; the restrictions do not affect freight transport.

Greenland does not currently have any active confirmed cases of COVID-19; all 11 previous confirmed cases have recovered. Any restrictions may be extended or otherwise amended at short notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The measures Greenland's government has taken are similar to those taken by other European governments 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 WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
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.

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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