Severity: Warning Alert

Exit/Entry: Libya's UN-recognized government in Tripoli extends COVID-19 related measures through Aug. 10. Passenger flights remain banned.

  • Alert Begins: 31 Jul 2020 04:32 AM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 31 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business restrictions

Summary
Libya's Tripoli-based internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) extended lockdown from July 31 through Aug. 10 as part of its efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The authorities will impose a 24-hour lockdown through Aug. 5, and a 2100-0600 curfew Aug. 5-10. Authorities also extended the suspension of passenger flights through at least Aug. 3.

The GNA reconfirmed that travel between cities, the use of public transportation, social gatherings, and the operation of many nonessential businesses would remain constrained until further notice. Markets supplying essential goods are allowed to operate. The government in eastern Libya, led by the Libyan National Army (LNA) leader Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, has intermittently imposed similar preventative measures and curfews in areas under its control.

Land, sea, and air borders remain closed since March 16; exemptions are in place for returning Libyan nationals and foreign nationals leaving the country. Authorities across the country, either at the national or city level, could impose additional restrictions in the coming weeks. New measures or amendments could be made at short notice.

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.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements, including the status of borders, before travel. 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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