Severity: Critical Alert
Exit/Entry: Turks and Caicos extends 2000-0500 curfew Sept. 15-30 in most islands. Other restrictions also extended due to COVID-19.
Alert Begins 14 Sep 2020 12:46 PM UTC
Alert Expires 30 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Territorywide (map)
- Time Frame: Through at least Sept. 30
- Impact: Transport and business disruptions
Authorities in Turks and Caicos have extended the 2000-0500 nightly curfew currently in place through at least the morning of Sept. 30 in most of the territory. The islands of Grand Turk and South Caicos will have a stricter 1800-0500 nightly curfew Sept. 15-30 due to increased coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity. Residents may not leave their homes during curfew hours, except for emergencies or essential work purposes. Travelers arriving on the island past the start of the curfew are also exempt.
While most businesses can reopen under COVID-19-related operating requirements, authorities have amended and extended restrictions that will be in place through at least Sept. 30:
- All businesses are required to close by 1900 daily, except in Grand Turk and South Caicos, where they must close by 1700 daily.
- Restaurants and bars are to be limited to a maximum of 10 patrons at any given time.
- All social gatherings, including weddings, may have no more than 10 people in attendance.
- Funerals may have no more than 25 people in attendance, as long as it is hosted outdoors; this measure will remain in effect through Oct. 11.
- Inter-island travel is restricted to essential purposes only.
- Public beaches may remain open, but visitors must maintain social distancing measures, and gatherings of more than four people from different households are banned.
Businesses must enhance sanitation procedures and continue to limit the number of customers within their premises to ensure social distancing. Attendance logs are also necessary for formal events. All individuals are required to ensure physical distancing and must wear a protective facemask in public spaces.
Turks and Caicos reopened the territory's airports to regional and international passenger transport July 22. However, officials have extended the closure of the cruise center until January 2021. All arriving nonresident foreign nationals, returning legal residents, and citizens over the age of 10 must obtain pre-authorization by providing a negative COVID-19 test taken within five days of arrival, proof of medical insurance, and a completed health screening questionnaire. All measures are subject to amendment at short notice.
Background and Analysis
The measures taken by authorities in Turks and Caicos correspond with similar actions taken by other governments globally in response to the spread of COVID-19. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. Officials previously initiated a phased approach to reopening the territory to allow some economic recovery; however, as highlighted recently, 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. Highly targeted localized measures could be imposed in some areas in response to high confirmed numbers as previously done, especially in Providenciales.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. 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.