Severity: Warning Alert

Entry/Exit: Libya's UN recognized government in Tripoli and rival Tobruk-based administration impose 1800-0600 curfew through May 7 to combat COVID-19.

This alert affects Libya

This alert began 28 Apr 2020 15:04 GMT and is scheduled to expire 07 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

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

Libya's Tripoli-based internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) has imposed an 1800-0600 curfew in Tripoli and surrounding cities under its control through at least May 7 as part of its efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The GNA initially introduced preventive measures, including a nightly curfew, March 22. The GNA has also restricted travel and has reduced government working hours to 0900-1200.

The Tobruk-based government in eastern Libya, which supports self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) leader Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, has also imposed an 1800-0600 curfew through May 7.

The GNA had announced a series of preventive measures March 14. The GNA has declared a state of emergency, and both the Tripoli and eastern Libya administrations have closed the country's land, sea, and air borders from March 16. Authorities have banned large gatherings, and restaurants and cafes must close at 1600 daily. The GNA and its rival government in eastern Libya also closed schools until further notice. Additional preventive restrictions remain likely in the coming days and weeks.

Background and Analysis
Libya's preventive restrictions are similar to actions other governments are taking globally 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.

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.


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