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30 Jul 2020 | 02:32 AM UTC

Libya: GNA bans Eid prayer gatherings due to COVID-19 spike July 29 /update 14

Libya News Alert

GNA announces ban on prayers in mosques and public squares during Eid al-Adha holiday on July 29 due to rise in COVID-19 cases; follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 7/30/2020, 12:00 AM until 8/31/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Tripoli). COUNTRY/REGION Libya

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On Wednesday, July 29, the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (GAIAE) of the Government of National Accord (GNA) announced a ban on prayers at mosques and public squares during the Eid al-Adha holiday between Thursday, July 30, and Sunday, August 2. The decision was made by the GAIAE on the recommendations of the Anti-Coronavirus Supreme Consultative Committee after Libya passed 3000 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases on Tuesday, July 28. The GNA banned congregational prayers at mosques in March to prevent the spread of COVID-19, before partially lifting the restrictions in June by allowing Friday prayers to take place in mosques under strict guidelines.

The GNA extended a nationwide curfew for 15-days on July 18, through to August 2. The curfew is in place between 21:00 and 06:00 (local time) due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and may be extended at any time. Separately, the GNA extended a ban on civil aviation for a further 15 days as of July 19. The ban excludes official visits, medevac and cargo flights, return flights for Libyans abroad, and departure flights for both Libyans and foreigners. Further, Libya's Airports Authority announced on July 20, that Misrata Airport (MRA) would open on Sunday, July 26, exclusively for departing passengers, and incoming passengers will not be able to enter Libya via MRA.

Land and sea border crossing points within GNA territory were closed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj in mid-March. All mosques, schools, restaurants, wedding halls, parks, and shops also remain closed; however, local reports have stated that authorities have been loosely enforcing the closures.

As of July 30, there have been 3222 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Libya and 76 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be 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). 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.


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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