Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Suriname announce 2300-0500 nationwide curfew and 1800-0600 eastern border area curfew as of May 11. Borders remain closed.

This alert affects Suriname

This alert began 11 May 2020 09:10 GMT and is scheduled to expire 18 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least May 17
  • Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions, increased security

President Desi Bouterse announced that the curfew in the country's eastern border areas, specifically along the Lawa, Marowijne and Tapanahony rivers will be revised and extended through at least May 17, and the borders will remain closed. The curfew is in place to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and will be imposed 1800-0600. In the rest of the country, the nationwide curfew will be reduced by four hours and will be enforced nightly between 2300-0500, until further notice. Persons operating in essential sectors, like health and security, are excluded from the order.

The curfew complements other measures, including restrictions on passenger movement at all ports of entry. The movement of essential goods by land remains ongoing; however, enhanced health screenings may result in delivery delays. Provisions have been made for cargo flights between Suriname and the Netherlands. All schools remain closed and all bus services remain suspended. The government has also revoked all public entertainment licenses; however, the number of people permitted at social gatherings has increased to 50. Residents should adopt social distancing measures, including the keeping of 2 meters (6 feet) between individuals.

Significant transport and business disruptions are likely to continue. Authorities will likely keep an increased police presence deployed to enforce the measures. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the Suriname government correspond with similar actions taken by other governments globally in response to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. Suriname's decision to gradually ease the curfew measures has been taken to initiate an economic recovery phase in the country. Should the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increase, relaxed restrictions may be reapplied. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in a further relaxation of restrictions.

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. Plan for possible ground shipping and travel delays; seek alternative routes and shipping methods for time-sensitive cargo.

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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