Severity: Critical Alert
Entry/Exit: Luxembourg begins easing coronavirus-related restrictions as of late April. First phase of recovery plan initiated.
This alert affects Luxembourg
This alert began 24 Apr 2020 23:37 GMT and is scheduled to expire 16 May 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Event: COVID-related restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Travel and business disruptions
Authorities in Luxembourg have initiated the first phase of the nation's recovery plan aimed at lifting restrictions that had been imposed as part of the government's effort to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Under Phase I, which was launched on April 20, the following businesses will reopen:
- Construction sites and all related businesses;
- Hardware and home improvement stores;
- Gardening and landscaping businesses, as well as plant nurseries and shops.
Additionally, secondary schools will start reopening with students in their final year returning on May 4 and the remaining secondary school students returning on May 11. It remains unclear when elementary schools and universities will reopen.
Authorities have not stated how many phases the nation's recovery plan includes, nor have they provided any estimated timetable for initiating subsequent stages. The easing of restrictions will be contingent on no major increase in the rate of infections with COVID-19. Restrictive measures could be reintroduced over the course of the plan if disease activity rises.
The following measures remain in place indefinitely in Luxembourg:
- Ban on activities of a cultural, social, festive, sporting and recreational nature
- All public spaces are closed
- Most non-essential businesses are closed
- Public transport is severely reduced
- Resident permits for all non-EU nationals are extended for the duration of the crisis
- Nonessential travel abroad is discouraged.
Border crossings with neighboring Germany, France, and Belgium remain open; albeit restricted to those with valid reasons for crossing, such as cross-border workers, freight transporters, health workers and diplomats.
Any restrictions may be extended or otherwise amended with little to no advance notice over the coming days, depending on disease activity in the country.
Background and Analysis
The measures adopted by Luxembourg are similar to actions taken by other regional governments in recent weeks 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. Carry proper identification documents to present at security checks. Heed all official advisories and remain nonconfrontational if stopped by authorities. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19. 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.
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.