Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Moldova extends coronavirus disease-related public health emergency until July 31; certain restrictions remain in place.

  • Alert Begins: 12 Jul 2020 06:58 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 31 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business and transport disruptions

Summary
Moldovan authorities have extended the nation's public health emergency until July 31 despite a steady decrease in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. The measure was originally slated to expire on July 15, but will remain in place out of an abundance of caution due to regional and international COVID-19 statistics. Numerous restrictions will remain in effect under the new directive, including:

 

  • Groups of more than three persons are prohibited in public spaces.

 

  • Individuals above the age of 63 must remain in their homes, except in cases of emergency.

 

  • All persons must wear protective face coverings when on public transport, in shops, or in any public indoor space.

 


As part of the nation's economic recovery plan, the government in Chisinau began allowing all economic activity to resume as of July 1, with the exception of spas, nightclubs, facilities providing elective medical procedures, training centers, educational establishments, and sporting events.

Moldovan authorities allowed international passenger air services to resume on June 15. Chisinau Airport (KIV) and various airlines operating in the country have been required to implement health screening, hygiene, and social distancing measures. Some of Moldova's land borders are open for road and rail transport, though most foreigners except for family members of Moldovan citizens, persons with a business visit visa, persons with resident permits, diplomats, travelers who are transiting, persons traveling for health and humanitarian reasons, freight transporters, pilots, and cabin crews remain barred from entry and all arrivals are subject to a mandatory 14-day self-isolation order. The self-isolation directive does not apply to freight transport drivers, flight crews, or members of train or ship crews.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

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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