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30 Nov 2020 | 07:33 AM UTC

Lebanon: Authorities ease COVID-19 restrictions from November 30 /update 37

Lebanese authorities ease COVID-19 restrictions from November 30; follow government directives

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Event

Lebanese authorities announced that restrictions in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been eased from Monday, November 30. Restaurants are permitted to reopen at 50-percent capacity, although bars, nightclubs, and weddings will remain prohibited. In-person teaching will resume, with some classes to continue with online teaching. The overnight curfew is to remain in place but has been eased to between 23:00 and 05:00 (local time). Restaurants, cafes, and malls must close at 22:00. The commercial association of Beirut had previously announced that all shops and malls would reopen nationwide on Monday.

Travelers at Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport (BEY) are required to provide a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test prior to entering the country and take a second test on arrival. Travelers are required to self-isolate until test results are received, with restrictions varying slightly depending on the country of origin. Lebanese officials extended a general mobilization order and a national health state of emergency until December 31. The order allows the government to implement preventive measures to help counter the disease. Demonstrations and gatherings of any type remain banned.

As of Sunday, November 29, there have been 125,678 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 991 associated fatalities in Lebanon. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected.

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 respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

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