Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Somalia to resume domestic flights from June 8 amid easing of COVID-19 restrictions. Other measures remain in place.

  • Alert Begins: 04 Jun 2020 06:41 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 04 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Event: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Period: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Somalia have announced plans to resume domestic flights from June 8. Except for cargo and humanitarian flights, Somalia suspended all flights in March as part of the nation's effort to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). It remains unclear when authorities will reopen the country's airspace to international flights. All land borders remain closed.

Other restrictions that remain in place include:

 

  • Indefinite curfew hours of 2000-0500 enforced in Mogadishu. Essential service providers, such as medical personnel, health workers, and food distributors, are exempted from the curfew.

 

  • Closure of all schools, restaurants, bars, religious institutions, nonessential businesses, and social gatherings.

 


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, 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. The region of Somaliland has also closed all its seaports with the exception of the Port of Berbera; however, essential goods such as food, fuel, and medical supplies are allowed to arrive by sea. Other regions could impose similar restrictions over the coming weeks.

COVID-19-related measures may be tightened or eased 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 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. 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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