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01 Dec 2020 | 03:41 PM UTC

Dominican Republic: Authorities extend nationwide curfew through December 22 /update 21

Dominican authorities extend nationwide curfew between 21:00-05:00 weekdays, 19:00-05:00 weekends through December 22; continue to follow authority directives

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Dominican authorities extended the nationwide curfew which is currently in effect between 21:00 and 05:00 (local time) on weekdays, and 19:00 and 05:00 on weekends through December 22 due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Health workers, security personnel, some government employees, international travelers in transit to ports or airports, and those providing essential services are exempt from the overnight movement restrictions.

Other COVID-19-related restrictions remain in place across the country, including the compulsory use of face masks in public and the requirement to maintain 1.5m (5ft) social distance. Entertainment venues, event spaces, cultural facilities, and schools also remain closed.

The Dominican Republic has reopened its borders to international commercial flights and limited services are available to and from the US, Spain, France, and other selected countries. Those arriving in the country are not required to present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result but may be selected for random testing on arrival. All inbound and outbound travelers must, however, complete an electronic entry and exit form.

As of Tuesday, December 1, there have been 144,302 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Dominican Republic with 2333 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.

Context

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.

Advice

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 COVID-19 call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

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