Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport (BEY) is scheduled to resume commercial flights on July 1, after being closed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Authorities have stated that the airport will operate at ten percent of its 2019 capacity. Travelers will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and will be required to quarantine if they test positive. Private flights will resume from BEY from Wednesday, June 24.
On June 8, the Lebanese government implemented the fifth phase of its easing of COVID-19 restrictions. During this phase, all shops will be allowed to reopen in addition to shopping centers and restaurants, so long as they operate at 50 percent capacity. However, schools, clubs, parks, theatres, and cinemas remain closed. A ban on movement also remains in place between 23:59 and 05:00 (local time). Members of the public are required to cover their mouths and noses when outside of their homes and to practice social distancing. Vehicles may only operate at a third of capacity, with private vehicles allowed to carry no more than three people, including the driver. Large gatherings remain prohibited.
As of Thursday, June 18, authorities have confirmed 1495 cases of COVID-19 nationwide and 32 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be 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 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.