Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Greenland to continue coronavirus-related restrictions through at least April 30. Significant business and travel disruptions likely.

This alert affects Greenland

This alert began 10 Apr 2020 22:15 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-related restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 30
  • Impact: Severe travel and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Greenland have announced that a number of the restrictions that the territory has implemented as part of its effort to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will remain in effect through at least April 30. The measures, which were originally set to expire on April 8, include:

  • Suspension of all domestic and international passenger flights
  • Suspension of all passenger ferry traffic
  • Ban on non-Danish nationals entering the territory
  • Closure of all schools and certain businesses in the capital city of Nuuk
  • Ban on individuals entering or leaving Nuuk
  • Ban on gatherings of more than 10 people
  • Social distancing requirement of 2 meters (6 feet) between individuals


Schools outside Nuuk will gradually reopen starting April 14. A prohibition on the sale and dispensing of alcoholic beverages remains in effect through at least April 15. Greenlandic authorities also strongly discourage travel between districts, as well as unnecessary travel within districts. Businesses are encouraged to arrange for employees to work from home to the extent possible.

Background and Analysis
The measures Greenland's government has taken correspond with similar actions taken by other European governments in recent days 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.

Resources
Greenland National Medical Office: https://nun.gl

World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int