Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Officials in Montserrat impose 24-hour curfew through April 14 due to COVID-19 activity. Other restrictions remain in place.

This alert affects Montserrat

This alert began 07 Apr 2020 12:10 GMT and is scheduled to expire 14 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Islandwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 14
  • Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions, travel restrictions, increased security

Summary
Authorities in Montserrat have expanded the islandwide curfew measures to 24 hours until at least April 14 as part of their efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Only one person per household is allowed out each day to purchase essential goods and conduct essential tasks. The measure is in addition to the suspension of all nonessential businesses since March 24. Persons involved in the provision of essential services are exempt. The curfew is an escalation of the ban of gatherings of more than four people and the closure of all education facilities. Persons who do not comply with the curfew will be subject to a fine, imprisonment, or both.

Officials also previously banned the entry of nonresident foreigners to Montserrat. The crews of aircraft and ships, as well as the immediate family members of Monserratians, are excluded from the ban. Those who are eligible to enter must self-quarantine for 14 days. Cargo transport is not affected.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Montserrat's authorities correspond with similar actions taken by other governments globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19, 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.

Resources
WHO coronavirus knowledge base: www.who.int

Government of Montserrat - Public Heath Order: gov.ms

Government of Montserrat - Immigration Order: gov.ms