Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Saint Lucia to reduce curfew hours to 1900-0500 April 7-13 due to COVID-19. All nonessential business and services remain suspended.

This alert affects Saint Lucia

This alert began 06 Apr 2020 11:20 GMT and is scheduled to expire 13 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 13
  • Impact: Entry and internal movement restrictions, severe business and commercial disruptions

Summary
The government of Saint Lucia will reduce its 24-hour curfew beginning April 7. The new curfew hours will be 1900-0500. The 24-hour curfew will end 0500 April 7. The measure is to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and will be imposed through April 13. During daytime hours, residents will only be allowed to leave their homes to restock food and essential items, such as fuel, according to the zone they live in. Only two people per household will be allowed out. Essential services will not be affected by the curfew. Police will be deployed 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 sea ports to all noncargo sailing vessels, until further notice. The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport on the island, with a larger-than-usual 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.

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
World Health Organisation (WHO): www.who.int