As part of ongoing efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), authorities in Algeria have revised restrictions as of Oct. 31. Authorities have reimposed a 2300-0500 nightly curfew in 11 provinces, including Batna, Bejaia, Blida, and Oran, where partial restrictions will continue due to a rise in COVID-19 cases. The measures will remain in effect until at least Nov. 15. Officials continue to impose a 2300-0500 curfew in most provinces that are experiencing high infection rates.
Returning Algerian nationals and foreign travelers have to quarantine for seven days in a government-designated hotel followed by another seven days of quarantine at the location of the traveler's choosing. Since early June, authorities have allowed several businesses and services to reopen, including construction companies, real estate agencies, travel agencies, fruit markets, bakeries, hair salons, car rental companies, and government institutions. Public transport has resumed operation in all of the nation's 48 provinces; taxi and app-based ride-sharing services have also begun operating again, albeit under certain capacity limitations. However, a ban on public and private vehicle traffic between provinces will remain in place on weekends. Restaurants have also reopened in provinces where officials have lifted lockdown measures.
Nevertheless, certain COVID-related restrictions remain in place. Authorities continue to suspend land, air, and sea passenger connections until further notice, except those under the government's repatriation program. Freight transport is operating normally. Residents must wear protective face coverings when in public, including in vehicles. Social distancing guidelines require that individuals stay at least 1 meter (3 feet) apart when interacting with each other.
The government has tasked the nation's various police departments with enforcing the measures that remain in force; violators could face fines or other criminal or administrative penalties. Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
Background and Analysis
Algeria's preventive measures are similar to actions other governments are taking globally in response to the spread of COVID-19, 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 World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all business appointments and travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. 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.
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 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.