Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Timor-Leste continues to enforce COVID-19 restrictions as of July 28. Entry ban for most foreigners remains in place.

  • Alert Begins: 28 Jul 2020 09:42 AM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 28 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Border closure, quarantine measures, international transport disruptions; possible business closures

Timor-Leste continues to enforce restrictions to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as of July 28. While authorities ended the nationwide state of emergency in late June, health protocols remain in place. Food markets remain operational, with measures, such as physical distancing and the use of protective masks for workers and visitors, in place. Public transport has resumed with precautions. Most schools have reopened, while religious services have restarted.

International passenger flights remain suspended, except for medical evacuations, humanitarian flights, and government operations. Shipping operations continue at ports in the country, including the Port of Dili. Authorities could adjust transport, gathering, and business restrictions in the coming weeks, depending on COVID-19 activity.

Travel Restrictions
The country's borders remain closed to foreigners, with exceptions. Authorities have previously allowed entry for permanent residents of Timor-Leste, foreigners born in the country, and people working at oil rigs, among others. People who can enter the country must still undergo a 14-day quarantine at government facilities.

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.

Follow all official instructions. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. 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.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. 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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