Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Authorities in Mauritania to ease domestic restrictions from July 10. International travel restrictions remain in place.

  • Alert Begins: 09 Jul 2020 11:30 AM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 31 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Severe travel disruptions

Summary
The government of Mauritania has announced the easing of domestic restrictions nationwide from July 10. The nightly 2000-0600 will expire July 10, and intercity travel will be permitted to resume. Domestic flights can also begin from this date. The use of protective masks is compulsory in all public spaces. The easing of these restrictions follows the resumption of public religious ceremonies and the opening of markets and restaurants nationwide. The suspension of international travel, including flights, is ongoing as of July 9. Mauritania's borders remain closed and freight services are subject to increased inspections. Maritime services likely face similar conditions.

Background and Analysis
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 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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