As of Oct. 14, Bangladeshi authorities continue to gradually ease domestic restrictions previously introduced to control the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Cinemas are authorized to resume operations with limited seating beginning Oct. 16. Other classes of businesses may function with social distancing measures. Residents must wear protective face coverings when in public and nonessential large gatherings remain banned. Schools are to remain closed through at least Oct. 31.

Local officials are authorized to impose stricter measures, such as banning nonessential activity, movement, and transport in identified high-risk areas; such restrictions typically last up to 21 days. Enforcement levels and public compliance are reportedly insufficient in many urban areas.

Travel Restrictions
International commercial flights from Bahrain, China, Malaysia, the Maldives, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Turkey, the UAE, and the UK are authorized. Limited flights with India are scheduled to resume Oct. 28. Visa-on-arrival services remain suspended until further notice; those intending to enter Bangladesh may approach their local Bangladeshi mission for visa issuance. Authorities require foreign nationals traveling to Bangladesh by air, land, or sea to obtain medical certificates within 72 hours of departure, indicating that they are COVID-19 negative. Entrants are required to either self-isolate or undergo quarantines in government-designated hospitals for 14 days after arrival. Self-isolation or hospital quarantine measures are assigned at the discretion of Bangladeshi authorities.

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
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. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

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.


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