Severity: Warning Alert

Entry/Exit: Iranian security forces to begin clearing streets and shopping centers in cities nationwide from March 14 to stem the spread of COVID-19 .

This alert affects Iran

This alert began 13 Mar 2020 18:25 GMT and is scheduled to expire 15 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: COVID-related restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Start Time/Date: March 14
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions

Iranian authorities announced March 13 that security forces would begin clearing the streets and shopping centers in Iran's cities starting March 14 in an effort to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The announcement came after the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that Iran needed to do more to contain the disease.

Iran Air (IR) announced March 10 that it would start resuming flights to Europe, with the exception of Vienna in Austria, and Stockholm and Gothenburg in Sweden. Airline officials did not, however, specify when service would resume. The carrier had suspended all flights to and from Europe beginning March 8 without giving any specific reasons. The announcement regarding the resumption of flights follows talks between Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European officials.

Iranian authorities have restricted travel within the country, temporarily released some 70,000 prisoners, and are urging citizens to reduce the use of paper banknotes in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The new measures have been put in place as the death toll from the disease has risen to 514. Schools and universities have been shut down until early April, and Nowruz (Persian New Year) celebrations will likely be canceled. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei canceled his Nowruz speech March 9.

Authorities have also suspended large religious gatherings throughout the country. Several countries, including Saudi Arabia and Iraq, have banned travel to and from Iran. Further travel restrictions are likely as authorities detect additional new cases.

If operating in Iran, heed the instructions of authorities. Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.