Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Authorities in Venezuela to maintain strict quarantine measures in Caracas and six states, July 27-Aug. 2, due to COVID-19 activity.

  • Alert Begins: 27 Jul 2020 08:32 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 03 Aug 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

Authorities in Venezuela amended restrictions nationwide, allowing multiple states to ease restrictions, while maintaining the strictest quarantine measures in Caracas and six states between July 27-Aug. 3, as part of the country's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Authorities maintain in place a three-level system of restrictions, depending on COVID-19 activity within the different states.

Under the strictest level of restrictions, which will apply in Caracas and the states of Bolivar, La Guaira, Miranda, Tachira, Sucre, and Zulia, only essential businesses can operate, including those in the food industry, pharmacies, healthcare services, media, and public service. 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.

Nine states will be on the intermediate level of restrictions between July 27-Aug. 3, under which businesses in construction and manufacturing may open, as well as nonemergency health services, personal care businesses, banks, transport, and hardware stores. Anzoategui, Aragua, Carabobo, Falcon, Lara Monagas, Merida, Nueva Esparta, and Yaracuy will be on the intermediate level.

Under the level with most flexibility, there will be eight states: Amazonas, Apure (except border areas with Colombia), Barinas, Cojedes, Delta Amacuro, Guarico, Portuguesa, and Trujillo. Multiple other businesses can operate during the lowest level of restrictions, including car washes, retail stores, malls, drive-in cinemas, gyms, and sport events without spectators.

All residents must wear protective face coverings while riding public transport, inside grocery stores and pharmacies, and at healthcare facilities, airports, and ports.

Other restrictions will be maintained despite some businesses reopening. The military is enforcing the restrictions. 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 through at least Aug. 12. Cargo and humanitarian flights have been exempt from the ban. Repatriation flights for Venezuelan citizens from abroad have also been permitted. 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. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

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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