Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Mozambique extend national state of emergency through June 30 to combat COVID-19.

This alert affects Mozambique

This alert began 31 May 2020 04:07 GMT and is scheduled to expire 02 Jul 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Affected Area(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business and travel disruptions; increased security

Authorities in Mozambique have extended the national state of emergency through June 30 as part of the nation's efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The measure, which was initially introduced April 1, imposes restrictions on movement across the country.

Authorities have suspended international passenger flights through at least May 31; authorities will likely extend the measure as the number of COVID-19 cases rise in the country.

Other measures taken by the government of Mozambique include:

  • Closure of non-essential businesses.
  • Suspension of visas to foreign nationals.
  • Closure of all borders, except the Lebombo crossing between South Africa and Mozambique, which is only open to freight transport.
  • Restriction on travelers entering the country at any land, air, or maritime point of entry; the measure exempts individuals traveling to Mozambique for health reasons.
  • Mandatory quarantine for all persons who have traveled abroad recently or been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.
  • Ban on gatherings of more than 50 people, including sporting, cultural, and religious events.
  • Closure of schools and entertainment establishments.
  • Mandatory use of facemasks in public.
  • Closure of museums, movie theaters, libraries, bars, and gyms.

Significant transport and business disruptions are possible, depending on the severity of the restrictions the government imposes under the state of emergency. Regardless, authorities will almost certainly deploy additional security personnel to assist in enforcing the measure. Officials could amend the order at short notice, depending on the disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
Mozambique's travel restrictions and preventive measures correspond with similar actions other governments are taking globally 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.

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