Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Liberia declares state of emergency from April 10 amid other health and travel restrictive measures to combat COVID-19.

This alert affects Liberia

This alert began 09 Apr 2020 11:02 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least the end of April
  • Impact: Transport and commercial disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Liberia have declared a renewable three-week state of emergency from April 10 in the latest measure to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). All counties in Liberia will be under quarantine for the duration of the emergency, with movement in and between counties strictly restricted. Montserrado and Margibi counties will be quarantined as one unit. The movement of essential staff can continue. All national borders will remain closed. The restrictions will not impact the movement of essential goods; however, significant delivery delays are likely due to enhanced screening measures at land border crossing points.

Liberia declared a National Health Emergency March 22 and has enforced various health and travel measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission. Liberia is likely to extend its current restrictions through late April and may announce additional measures in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The measures adopted by the government corresponds with similar actions taken by other regional 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. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent hand-washing 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
World Health Organisation (WHO): www.who.int

Liberia Ministry of Health: moh.gov.lr

Government of Liberia: https://www.emansion.gov.lr/