Authorities in Guinea have extended the country's state of health emergency measures for one month through at least mid-November as part of plans to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). However, the government eased several domestic measures from Sept. 22.
The existing 0001-0400 curfew in Greater Conakry (Conakry, Coyah, and Dubreka) is in effect until further notice. There are no curfews in place outside of this area. All public transport passengers and transport employees must wear facemasks. The government has maintained the compulsory wearing of facemasks in public and private spaces. Restaurants, bars, hotels, and motels can reopen; however, all service personnel must wear facemasks and adhere to social distancing. Other socio-cultural and sporting activities can resume with participants, spectators, and organizers complying with social distancing measures and the use of facemasks. Places of worship and schools have opened in areas where there have been no records of disease cases in 30 days.
Land and sea borders remain closed until further notice unless for goods' transportation; transporters will be subject to heightened screening measures. Air borders have gradually reopened since July 17 for international flights. All passengers arriving or departing Guinea must present a negative COVID-19 certificate for a test taken at least five days before travel. Facemasks are mandatory for all travelers, and they must pack at least three spares for the duration of the journey. Authorities will screen all travelers before departure. Travelers who arrive without the relevant document, who show symptoms of the disease, or who test positive for COVID-19 face up to 14 days quarantine at a state facility. Travelers exiting Guinea must show a negative test certificate taken up to three days before departure.
Guinean authorities could further extend the state of emergency or expand any COVID-19-related restrictions with little to no advance notice.
Background and Analysis
The measures the government has taken correspond with similar actions introduced by other West African governments in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is 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.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all 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. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.
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.