Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Authorities in Republic of the Congo extend state of health emergency to Sept. 28 due to COVID-19. Several restrictions remain in place.

Alert Begins 10 Sep 2020 11:40 AM UTC
Alert Expires 28 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Affected Area(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Significant business and travel disruptions

Summary
Authorities in the Congo have extended the state of health emergency in continued efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) through Sept. 28. Restrictions that remain in place include the following:

 

  • A daily 2000-0500 curfew is in place in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire. A 2200-0500 curfew is in place for the rest of the country.

 

  • Gatherings of more than 50 people in public and private spaces are prohibited during the extension.

 

  • All schools and universities remain closed.

 

  • All nonessential businesses, including restaurants, remain closed.

 

  • Increased screening measures enforced by security personnel will be conducted at the entry and exit of all towns in the country.

 

  • The wearing of facemasks is mandatory in public spaces.

 

  • All land, river, and sea borders remain closed until further notice, except for freight transportation.

 

  • Tertiary education will resume from Sept. 21 and schools will reopen from Oct. 12.

 


Authorities resumed international air travel Aug. 24. All international travelers must, on arrival in the country, present a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PRC) test, and will be subject to various regulations:

 

  • If the test was taken less than 72 hours before arrival in the country, travelers will not be subject to another test on arrival, but must quarantine for 14 days at their accommodation.

 

  • If the test was taken more than 72 hours but less than 10 days prior to arrival, travelers must take a second test on arrival and quarantine for 14 days at their accommodation.

 

  • In the absence of a test within 10 days prior to arrival, travelers will be transferred to a hotel and tested within 48 hours. If the result is negative, travelers may move to their accommodation to complete their 14-day quarantine. If the result is positive, travelers will be moved from the hotel to a government COVID-19 management site.

 

  • Arriving symptomatic travelers will be quarantined at a government facility, and will only be released following two negative tests. Once released, they must complete a 14-day quarantine at their accommodation.

 


Authorities have indicated that travelers will be liable for the cost of all PCR tests taken on arrival in the country. Security forces have been deployed to enforce current restrictions. Additional amendments to restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are possible in the coming weeks.

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

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. 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. Reconfirm all travel arrangements and ensure that all pre-arrival tests are conducted.

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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