As part of ongoing efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), authorities in Lebanon extended the state of medical emergency until March 31, 2021. The state of emergency, termed “general mobilization,” grants the government broad powers to implement preventative measures such as curfews and travel restrictions to combat the disease. All social gatherings, including weddings, are banned until further notice. Facemasks are mandatory in public. Violations of the country's social distancing and safety guidelines are punishable by fines.
A nationwide 2300-0500 nightly curfew is currently in effect; curfew hours had previously been 1700-0500. Furthermore, businesses are permitted to operate between the hours of 0500-2200 daily. Authorites have lifted vehicular traffic restrictions. Restaurants are permitted to reopen at 50-percent capacity; however, bars and nightclubs remain closed until further notice. Schools are permitted to reopen for some in-person classes.
Commercial flights have resumed at Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport (BEY), albeit at significantly reduced capacity. Travelers arriving at BEY must produce proof of having tested negative for COVID-19 using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test before entering the country. Travelers from countries with high infection rates must undergo 24 to 48 hours of quarantine in designated hotels until they receive their test results. Nonresidents traveling to Lebanon are required to have a valid health insurance policy for the duration of their stays. Public transportation has resumed operating nationwide, albeit with social distancing measures and passenger limits in place.
Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
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. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.
Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.