Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Guatemala expands travel restrictions through April 12 due to COVID-19. Curfew, state border closures, quarantine requirements ongoing.

This alert affects Guatemala

This alert began 05 Apr 2020 09:07 GMT and is scheduled to expire 12 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-related restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 12
  • Impact: Travel restrictions, significant transport and business disruptions, heightened security

Summary
President Alejandro Giammattei issued updated measures on April 4 as part of the nation's effort to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). All travel between the country's 22 departments will be been banned from 1600 April 5 until at least 2359 April 12. Only essential workers will be allowed to operate between departments.

The announcement updates existing measures, including:


 

  • A nationwide 1600-0400 curfew through at least April 12. During curfew hours, only essential workers - such as security force members, healthcare staff, and those transporting food to markets - will be allowed out of their homes. Authorities could extend or expand the curfew with little-to-no warning.
  • Non-resident foreign nationals are prohibited from entering the country through April 12. All flights to the country have been suspended since March 17. Guatemalan citizens and residents will be allowed to enter the country but must self-quarantine immediately on arrival. All entries and departures must be made by land, through border crossings with Mexico and Belize. Officials are contacting all foreign travelers in the country to help them depart.
  • Authorities have also implemented several other measures, including the closure of most public offices and private businesses; the suspension of all sporting, cultural, and religious events; and a ban on visits to retirement homes and prisons. Most public transport has suspended services. Supermarkets, pharmacies, and fuel stations will remain open, as well as companies related to food, health products, energy, security, telecommunications, and banks. All businesses must remain closed 1600-0400, except pharmacies, fuel stations, and other essential services.



Background and Analysis
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. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.

Exercise 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).

Resources
World Health Organisation (WHO): www.who.int