Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Venezuela to enforce flexible COVID-19 restrictions nationwide Sept. 7-14. Stricter measures remain in place at border areas.

Alert Begins 07 Sep 2020 11:10 AM UTC
Alert Expires 21 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Flight cancellations, increased security, severe transport and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Venezuela will return to flexible quarantine measures nationwide Sept. 7-14, as part of the nation's "7+7" plan to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Under this formula, seven days of flexibility is permitted for businesses and individuals, followed by seven days of full quarantine, on a rotational basis. When the full quarantine is in effect, only essential businesses and services, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, law enforcement, public utilities, and agriculture, will continue operating. Strict quarantine measures are likely to continue Sept. 14-21 on a rotational basis following the flexible quarantine period.

Under the new flexible measures beginning Sept. 7, all states will be classified under General Flexibility except border municipalities that have long remained under Radical Quarantine. No states will fall under Partial Flexibility during this period:

 

  • Radical Quarantine: Officials enforced strict quarantine measures in the border municipalities of the states of Zulia, Apure, Tachira, and Bolivar. In these areas, only essential businesses can operate. Residents may only leave their homes to conduct essential or critical tasks, such as obtaining basic goods, attending to a medical issue, caring for a person in need, or traveling to or from employment at an essential business or government agency.

 

  • Partial Flexibility: 10 areas of the economy may operate, including construction, hardware stores, transport, banks and financial services, barbershops and hair salons, car repair businesses, healthcare centers, including dental offices and veterinarians, clothing services, chemical industries, and personalized services. There are no states under this level as of Sept. 7

 

  • General Flexibility: 24 areas of the economy may operate, including those under partial flexibility as well as bookstores, malls, gyms, car washes, sporting events without spectators, drive-in cinemas, and optical stores. All states, excluding border municipalities, are under general flexibility as of Sept. 7.

 


Some nationwide measures remain in place regardless of which phase of the 7+7 plan is in effect. All residents must wear protective facemasks while riding public transport, inside grocery stores and pharmacies, and at healthcare facilities, airports, and ports. Local and regional governments could impose additional restrictions, including limiting intercity or interstate vehicular travel; enhanced measures are especially likely in border areas.

The ban on all domestic and international passenger flights is in effect until at least Sept. 12. Cargo and humanitarian flights have been exempt from the ban. Officials have also permitted repatriation flights for Venezuelan citizens from abroad. Additionally, all land border crossings remain closed, though there are no restrictions on cargo transportation. The restrictions may be extended or amended at any time.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by authorities in Venezuela are similar to actions taken by other governments globally in response to the spread of COVID-19, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization March 11. Several governments have begun implementing recovery plans to lift restrictions and allow some economic recovery, with highly targeted localized measures imposed in some areas with higher disease activity and confirmed case numbers.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.

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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