Severity: Warning Alert

Exit/Entry: Authorities in Sao Tome and Principe extend the state of calamity through Sept. 30 in response to COVID-19 activity.

Alert Begins 16 Sep 2020 10:48 AM UTC
Alert Expires 30 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Heightened screening, business and travel disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Sao Tome and Principe extended the current state of calamity through at least Sept. 30 in continued efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Several restrictions will remain in place and include the following:

Domestic Restrictions:

 

  • The wearing of protective facemasks is mandatory in open public spaces and on roads, unless the driver is the sole occupant of the vehicle.

 

  • Taxis, buses, and other modes of public transportation are required to operate at two-thirds of their maximum capacity.

 

  • Social distancing methods are mandatory in public spaces.

 

  • All bars and clubs remain closed until further notice. Music festivals are also prohibited.

 

  • Funeral attendance is limited to 20 people.

 

  • Civilians are to remain home where possible and avoid large crowds.

 


International Travel Restrictions:

 

  • International flights have resumed as of July 15.

 

  • Travelers must present a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test result, obtained no more than 72 hours prior to arrival.

 

  • Travelers without proof or displaying symptoms will be subject to a test at the port of arrival and may face quarantine measures for up to 14 days at a private residence or hotel.

 

  • Sao Tomean nationals returning to the country may be subject to mandatory quarantine.

 


COVID-19-related restrictions have largely been relaxed in recent weeks; however, further amendments or updates in response to disease activity are likely in the coming months. Disruptions to domestic and international travel are also likely to persist as authorities screen all arrivals and departures.

Background and Analysis
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.

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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