News Alerts

25 May 2020 | 11:14 PM UTC

Syria: Syrian authorities to lift curfew and allow inter-provincial travel as of May 26 /update 4

Syria News Alert

Syrian authorities to lift curfew and allow inter-provincial travel as of May 26 and inbound repatriation flights are to be halted; continue to follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/25/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/31/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Damascus). COUNTRY/REGION Syria

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Event

The Syrian government announced on Monday, May 25, the lifting of the nationwide curfew as of Tuesday, May 26, originally in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The curfew, originally imposed on Wednesday, March 25, ran from 18:00 to 06:00 (local time). Authorities have also eased lockdown restrictions on shops and other businesses, which will now be allowed to remain open from 08:00 to 19:00 (local time). Authorities stated on May 25 that a curfew could be re-introduced in the future depending on developments relating to the pandemic.

As part of the new easing of measures announced on Monday, movement between provinces will be allowed and public transport will be operating on May 26. As passenger flights into and out of the country remain halted, authorities have now also announced the ceasing of repatriation flights into Syria as they look to try and reduce the number of potential new cases in the country.

Social events such as weddings and funerals are still not permitted, and public parks, gyms, swimming pools, cultural centers, theaters, and private institutions remain closed.

Additionally, all businesses must adhere to public safety measures and disinfect their premises. Media sources have reported that the country's strict measures have led to panic buying, causing shortages and price hikes. Syria's cabinet has also decided to begin a phased resumption of work in government ministries and aims to fully resume work after Ramadan in late-May. Separately, authorities have ended the school year, which was originally scheduled to start again after Saturday, May 2.

To date, there have been 106 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, including four associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be 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 (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 numerous 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) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble 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

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 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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