Severity: Critical Alert
Entry/Exit: Timor-Leste extends state of emergency through at least May 26 to stem the spread of COVID-19. Borders remains closed.
This alert affects Timor-Leste (East Timor)
This alert began 27 Apr 2020 07:28 GMT and is scheduled to expire 18 May 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: Restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Transport and business disruptions, border closure, quarantine measures
Authorities in Timor-Leste have extended an ongoing nationwide state of emergency through at least May 26 to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). A ban on gatherings of over five people is still in place. Authorities have closed schools, places of worship, and most nonessential businesses. Food markets remain operational, with compulsory physical distancing and use of face masks for workers and visitors.
Public transport and international passenger flights remain suspended, while medical evacuation and humanitarian flights and state aircraft operations can continue. Shipping operations continue at major ports, including the Port of Dili. Authorities may extend or expand the restrictions in the coming weeks.
Officials have shut the country's borders to all travelers, including East Timorese citizens; exemptions from the travel restrictions require approval from the Prime Minister's Office. People who can enter the country will undergo a 14-day quarantine at government facilities.
Background and Analysis
The measures 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. 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.