Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Authorities in Liberia maintain COVID-19 national health emergency measures as of Sept. 24; international flights operating.

Alert Begins 24 Sep 2020 12:02 PM UTC
Alert Expires 30 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions, heightened security

Summary
As of Sept. 24, authorities in Liberia are maintaining the country's national health emergency measures that replaced the country's state of emergency.

International Travel
All land borders remain closed. Ports have been reopened. International commercial flights to Liberia have resumed. All travelers arriving in Liberia will be screened for coronavirus disease (COVID-19). All arriving passengers have been advised to travel with a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken up to 72 hours before arrival in Liberia. Travelers with a negative test will be allowed onward travel with traveler tracing in place. Passengers without a test from their point of departure will face tests at Roberts International Airport (ROB). Travelers who test positive will be quarantined at a government facility. Travelers departing Liberia must show evidence of a negative PCR test result, received within 72 hours prior to departure.

Domestic Measures
Local measures remain in place in all 15 counties. Under the Ministry of Health guidelines, all persons must abide by public health directives, including the wearing of facemasks in all public places. Social distancing of approximately 1 meter (3 feet) must also be followed. All operating businesses and services must have hand washing and sanitizing stations; however, bars and nightclubs will remain closed until further notice. Other businesses involved in the trade of alcohol will close at 2100. Restrictions on capacity are in place for banks, supermarkets, and public transport. Churches and mosques can operate at 25-percent capacity.

Background and Analysis
The action to end the country's state of emergency likely results from domestic pressure rather than from an improvement in the health environment. Cases of the disease continue to be reported across Liberia. 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.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Confirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying travel 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 non-emergency health appointments.

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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