Azerbaijan authorities announced on Friday, November 20, that some public transportation restrictions have been tightened due to a rise in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country. Under the tightening of restrictions, taxi services will now be prohibited every weekend from 20:00 (local time) on Fridays until 06:00 on Mondays. The measure will remain in effect until at least 1 December.
The Azeri government also announced that existing restrictions introduced due to COVID-19 have been extended until December 28. The government stated that all restaurants, cafes, and shops selling non-essential items will close over weekends. Shops selling food and pharmacies will remain open.
The Baku Metro system remains temporarily suspended until further notice. The wearing of face masks is mandatory in public spaces.
Land borders remain closed and limited flights options are available. On Thursday, November 19, authorities stated that arrivals and departures into and out of the county will be restricted until further notice. Those entering or leaving the country must provide a negative test for COVID-19 taken within 48 hours of their travel date and may also be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine at a government facility. Those arriving in Azerbaijan will be required to undergo 14 days of self-isolation. Those who cannot provide a valid test result will be refused entry into Azerbaijan.
As of Sunday, November 22, there have been 89,898 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Azerbaijan with 1107 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in 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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
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 COVID-19 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.