Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Mauritania ease curfew times to 2100-0600 since April 22 to accommodate observance of Ramadan.

This alert affects Mauritania

This alert began 23 Apr 2020 12:04 GMT and is scheduled to expire 04 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least May 23
  • Impact: Severe travel disruptions

The government of Mauritania eased curfew times to accommodate the observance of Ramadan from April 22 to 2100-0600 nightly. Ramadan observance will end May 23. The religious practice coincides with measures implemented by authorities to halt the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). These include:

  • The suspension of international flights is ongoing as of March.
  • Emergency and essential services will remain operational for the duration of the curfew.
  • Movement restrictions are in effect through at least May 4.

Sporadic clashes are possible if any group attempts to break the curfew; security forces are likely to act quickly to control such incidents. Individuals in contact with possible COVID-19 cases face a 21-day mandatory quarantine.

Background and Analysis
The measures adopted by the government correspond with similar actions taken by other regional governments in recent days 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.

World Health Organisation (WHO):