Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Senegal extend international flight ban until May 31. Nationwide curfew, restrictions remain in effect until at least May 3.

This alert affects Senegal

This alert began 17 Apr 2020 14:00 GMT and is scheduled to expire 03 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through May
  • Impact: Commercial flight and business disruptions

Authorities in Senegal have extended the ban on inbound and outbound international passenger flights until at least May 31 as part of updated efforts to halt the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Limited exceptions exist for cargo and humanitarian reasons. Authorities have closed Senegal's land borders with neighboring countries to non-commercial traffic.

The state of emergency announced March 23 remains in effect until at least May 3. Measures in place include a nightly curfew 2000-0600. Authorities have restricted travel between regions.

Authorities are quarantining travelers who test positive for COVID-19 in hospitals in Dakar until they receive a negative test result. All public gatherings have been canceled, with officials closing schools and universities. Ships will not be allowed to enter Senegalese waters indefinitely. Other social distancing measures are also in place. Further restrictions are possible in the coming weeks.

Domestic flights between Blaise Diagne International Airport (DSS) - which serves Dakar - and Ziguinchor Airport (ZIG) remain ongoing.

These measures will complement earlier restrictions, including the suspension of all international travel until April 17 and closure of the land border with Gambia.

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:

Ministry of Health and Social Action (French):