Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Liberia expands nationwide restrictions through at least mid-May amid other health and travel restrictive measures to combat COVID-19.

This alert affects Liberia

This alert began 27 Apr 2020 10:25 GMT and is scheduled to expire 15 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least mid-May
  • Impact: Transport and commercial disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Liberia have expanded and extended nationwide restrictions as part of efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Nationwide stay-at-home orders have been extended for at least two weeks through mid-May. The measure will support a state of emergency that is in place until at least June 9. The state of emergency initially went into effect April 10 for a period of 21 days, but authorities subsequently extended it to 60 days, with the possibility of it being extended a further 30 days.

All counties in Liberia are quarantined for the duration of the emergency, with movement in and between counties strictly restricted. Residents in all counties have been ordered to stay at home except for essential movement. Officials are quarantining Montserrado and Margibi counties as one unit. Face masks that cover the nose and mouth are compulsory in public places. The movement of essential staff can continue. All national borders 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 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.


 


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