Severity: Critical Alert
Exit/Entry: Turks and Caicos reapplies 2200-0500 curfew and other movement restrictions on Providenciales through July 13 due to COVID-19 activity.
- Alert Begins: 08 Jul 2020 01:15 PM UTC
- Alert Expires: 13 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions, increased security
Authorities in Turks and Caicos have reimposed the 2200-0500 curfew on Providenciales, the most populated of the islands, through at least July 13. The measure was enforced due to a spike in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity. Restrictive measures and operating protocols elsewhere remain unchanged. Businesses must continue to limit the number of customers allowed within their premises to ensure social distancing and must enhance sanitation procedures. All businesses are to remain closed on Sundays, though recreational activities are permitted.
The plan to ease restrictions on Providenciales has also been slowed. Recovery plans permitting remaining businesses to reopen July 6 have proceeded across the islands, except on Providenciales, where the reopening date has been extended to July 13. The following measures are in effect on Providenciales:
- Religious and social gatherings may have up to 10 people in attendance (the maximum elsewhere remains 25 people). Attendance logs must be kept for formal events, and all individuals are required to ensure physical distancing and must wear a protective face mask.
- Dine-in services at restaurants, as well as bars, casinos, nightclubs, will remain closed through July 13.
- Gyms, spas, and fitness centers will remain closed, and contact sport and sporting events remain suspended through July 13.
- Schools will remain closed through at least June 26.
- Passenger travel to Providenciales is permitted; however, nonessential travel from Providenciales to any of the other islands is prohibited.
Officials have maintained the closure of all air and seaports to regional and international passenger transport since March 24. Permanent residents, residence permit holders, and British Overseas Territory Citizens are permitted to enter. Returning legal residents and citizens will be subject to heightened health screenings and quarantine protocols on arrival. Domestic flights, as well as all cargo, courier, and emergency transportation, are exempt. Authorities announced that they plan to reopen their borders for international travelers July 22. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.
Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the authorities correspond with similar actions taken by other governments globally in response to the spread of COVID-19, which the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic March 11. Like Turks and Caicos, several governments have decided to ease restrictions in response to indications that the spread of the disease has been adequately contained locally and to allow economic recovery. However, the situation on Providenciales highlights that relaxed restrictions may be reapplied should the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increase. 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. 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.