Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Saint Lucia to extend 1900-0500 curfew through April 26 due to COVID-19. Some stores to partially reopen; though most restrictions remain.

This alert affects Saint Lucia

This alert began 13 Apr 2020 09:53 GMT and is scheduled to expire 26 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 26
  • Impact: Severe business and commercial disruptions, increased security

The government of Saint Lucia has extended the 1900-0500 curfew through at least April 26 to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Most nonessential businesses remain closed. During daytime hours, residents will only be allowed to leave their homes to restock food and essential items, such as fuel; however, beginning April 14, the government will allow the partial reopening of hardware stores and home suppliers. Only two people per household will be allowed out. Essential services will not be affected by the curfew. Police will deploy to enforce the movement restrictions.

These measures are in addition to Saint Lucia's closure of its airports to all incoming commercial and private passenger flights and its seaports to all noncargo sailing vessels, until further notice. The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport on the island, with an increased police presence in the streets. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

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

World Health Organisation (WHO):