Severity: Warning Alert
Exit/Entry: Lebanon shortens nationwide nightly curfew to 0100-0600 and eases some COVID-19 business restrictions, as of Sept. 10.
Alert Begins 10 Sep 2020 02:27 AM UTC
Alert Expires 15 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Significant business and travel disruptions; increased security
Authorities in Lebanon have eased some coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions as of Sept. 10. The nightly curfew will be shortened and effective 0100-0600. Movie theaters, markets, public parks, bars, night clubs, as well as wedding halls, will be allowed to reopen. Businesses, restaurants, cafes, malls, markets, and gyms will be permitted to operate at a reduced 50-percent capacity.
Travelers at Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport (BEY) must provide negative results of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test before entering the country. Travelers from countries with high infection rates will undergo 24 to 48 hours of quarantine in designated hotels until they receive their test results.
The following COVID-19-related restrictions remain in place:
- Authorities extended the existing medical state of emergency until Dec. 31.
- Residents are required to wear protective face coverings when in public.
- Demonstrations and gatherings of any type remain banned.
- Individuals and businesses that violate the country's social distancing and safety guidelines will face a fine.
Authorities have eased the following restrictions as part of the nation's economic recovery plan:
- Commercial flights at BEY have resumed, albeit at significantly reduced capacity. Private flights to and from BEY resumed June 24. Passengers will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and notified of their test result within 24 hours. In the event of a positive test result, affected travelers will need to self-quarantine per instructions from the Ministry of Health. Nonresidents traveling to Lebanon are required to have a valid health insurance policy for the duration of their trip.
- Authorities have lifted vehicular movement restrictions.
- Public transportation has resumed nationwide, albeit with social-distancing measures and passenger limits in place.
Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
Background and Analysis
Lebanon's restrictions and preventive measures are similar to those enacted by other governments in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. 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.
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. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.
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.