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16 Apr 2020 | 12:34 AM UTC

Senegal: International flight suspension extended until June 1 /update 5

Senegal extends ban on international flights until June 1; national state of emergency remains in effect



Senegal's Minister of Tourism and Air Transport, Alioune Sarr, announced on Wednesday, April 15, that all international flights to the country will remain suspended until Monday, June 1. Cargo flights, medical evacuations, and specially authorized flights are exempt from the restriction.

A nationwide state of emergency also remains in place as of April 15. The declaration gives authorities the power to regulate the movement of goods, people, and gatherings, as well as close public places and introduce entry bans. A nationwide curfew is in effect between 20:00 and 06:00 (local time) and travel between regions is limited or suspended. Public gatherings, collective prayers, and inter-city traffic have also been prohibited.

As of April 16, 314 cases of COVID-19 and two associated fatalities have been confirmed in the country. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

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