Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Authorities in Somalia maintain restrictions as of Sept. 25 due to COVID-19 activity; domestic and international flights ongoing.

Alert Begins 25 Sep 2020 04:04 PM UTC
Alert Expires 11 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Period: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions

Summary
As of Sept. 25, authorities in Somalia continue to maintain measures introduced to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

International Travel
International and domestic flights are operational since Aug. 3. Incoming travelers arriving at Aden Adde International Airport (MGQ) require a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 96 hours before arrival. Departing passengers must present a negative COVID-19 test result taken 72 hours before travel. In Somaliland, travelers arriving at Egal International Airport (HGA) must present a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 96 hours before arrival. Passengers with no test result may have to spend 14 days in quarantine in a government-approved facility at their own expense. Temperature checks will also be performed at the airport. Land borders remain closed.

Domestic Measures
An indefinite curfew 2000-0500 remains in effect in Mogadishu. Essential service providers, such as medical personnel, health workers, and food distributors, are exempt. Restrictions on public transport and inter-state movements remain in place. Hotels, restaurants, bars, and businesses are open but subject to strict hygiene and social distancing measures. Previously imposed restrictions, such as the closure of all schools, religious institutions, nonessential businesses, and social gatherings, remain in place.

Some locations outside the nation's capital have also taken similar measures due to COVID-19 activity. A nightly curfew remains in place in the city of Garowe in Puntland. Moreover, authorities in Somaliland have established a series of strict measures, including the closure of all its land borders and a ban on public gatherings. Somaliland has also closed all its seaports except the Port of Berbera; however, essential goods, such as food, fuel, and medical supplies, can arrive by sea.

Authorities may tighten or ease COVID-19-related measures on short notice. Security personnel will likely deal quickly and forcefully with any curfew violators. Disruptions to supply chains and shortages of essential goods are possible.

Background and Analysis
The measures adopted by the government correspond with similar actions taken by other regional governments 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. Consider delaying traveling to Somalia until officials lift restrictions. 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.


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