Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Mozambique suspend all international passenger flights through May 31 to curb the spread of COVID-19.

This alert affects Mozambique

This alert began 13 May 2020 12:55 GMT and is scheduled to expire 01 Jun 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 suspended all international passenger flights through at least May 31 to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The extension of travel restrictions comes after authorities announced a marked increase in COVID-19 cases. Outbound flights were previously available through Ethiopian Airlines; however, these flights have now been canceled.

The national state of emergency remains in effect through May 30. The measures mandate:

  • Nationwide limitations on the movement of persons and goods.
  • Non-essential business closures.
  • Suspension of entry visas.
  • Restriction on travelers entering the country at any land, air, or maritime point of entry, with certain exceptions such as properly credentialed freight transporters, persons arriving for health-related reasons, or for reasons in the national interest.
  • 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 face masks.

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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