Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Lesotho to ease COVID-19 restrictive measures May 5. Low-level transport and business disruptions likely.

This alert affects Lesotho

This alert began 05 May 2020 16:30 GMT and is scheduled to expire 19 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Date: May 5
  • Impact: Low-level business and travel disruptions, entry restrictions, increased security

Authorities in Lesotho have announced the easing of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related restrictive measures starting May 5; all businesses, public services, and state companies can resume daily business operations. Schools and universities will also be open from that date. Restrictions on gatherings of more than 50 people remain in place. Further information regarding measures will be issued in the coming days.

Lesotho's borders will remain closed until further notice; however, freight transport will continue. Air travel is likely to be suspended until further notice. Security forces have been deployed to enforce compliance with additional security deployed to border areas to prevent travelers from entering the country from South Africa.

Background and Analysis
The easing of Lesotho's restrictive measures follows no COVID-19 cases being reported in the country. 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.

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.

Back to the COVID-19 Risk Intelligence & Resource Center