Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Limited international air travel to Cameroon ongoing as of July 17. Other COVID-19-related travel restrictions remain in place.

  • Alert Begins: 17 Jul 2020 11:30 AM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 31 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and movement restrictions

Summary
Limited international air travel to Cameroon is ongoing as of July 17 after authorities partially reopened air borders earlier in July. Services by Air France (AF), Brussels Airlines (SN), and Ethiopia Airlines (ET) will operate out of Douala International Airport (DLA) and Yaounde Nsimalen International Airport (NSI). All passengers intending to travel to Cameroon must present a negative coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test taken up to three days before the flight. An indefinite closure of Cameroon's land and sea borders remains in place. Cargo transport will not be affected.

The resumption of commercial international flights follows the easing of several domestic measures put in place to halt the spread of COVID-19 June 1. Updated measures will allow schools and universities to reopen provided they adhere to health guidelines. Previous easing of measures since April 30 has allowed nonessential businesses to remain open past 1800, with some limits lifted on local public transportation. All travelers are required to wear facemasks. Restrictions on groups of more than 50 people remain in place; however, bars and restaurants have been allowed to reopen. Tax exemptions for certain businesses have also been announced. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the government of Cameroon are likely an attempt to improve economic conditions following a downturn caused by 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. The WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic March 11.

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.

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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