Bahraini authorities have announced the partial resumption of economic activity nationwide beginning Thursday, May 7, as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) measures are relaxed. Shops and industrial enterprises are allowed to reopen effective immediately. Certain measures must be implemented to protect individuals from the disease, however, including the use of masks in businesses, social distancing, and a reduction in the number of people permitted to enter, including floor markings for lines outside of each business. Some businesses are required to remain closed, including cinemas, sports facilities, and salons. Restaurants are required to offer takeout and delivery services exclusively.
The government has also advised nationals and residents to avoid all but essential travel. In addition, the visas on-arrival program has been suspended across the Kingdom's entry points until further notice. Travelers must obtain a visa in advance, either online or from an embassy. Face masks are required in public spaces and those who fail to comply with the measure will be sanctioned.
As of May 7, there are 3934 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Bahrain, including eight deaths. Further international spread of the virus is 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 more than 30 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) labelled the outbreak as pandemic.
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.
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 virus.
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