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08 Mar 2020 | 01:39 PM UTC

El Salvador: Entry restrictions expanded to travelers from Germany and France March 8 /update 2

Government extends entry ban to travelers from Germany and France as of March 8 due to COVID-19 concerns; follow government directives

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transportation
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Event

El Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele announced on Sunday, March 8, that travelers from Germany and France would be denied entry into the country due to the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Salvadoran nationals or foreign diplomats will not be barred from entering the country but will be subject to a 30-day quarantine. Prior bans on travelers from Iran, Italy, and South Korea remain in place.

To date, no COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the country. Further international spread of COVID-19 is expected over 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 (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 February 28, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the risk of spread and the risk of impact of the virus is "very high" at the global level.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored 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.

Advice

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.

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

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.

In the case that symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness emerge either during or after travel, individuals are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid potential spread of the disease.