News Alerts

26 Aug 2020 | 09:19 PM UTC

Tunisia: Authorities extend curfews in El Hamma and El Hamma West until September 3 /update 17

Tunisia News Alert

Tunisian authorities extend 17:00 - 05:00 curfews in El Hamma and El Hamma West (Gabes province) until September 3 to contain the spread of COVID-19; follow official directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 8/26/2020, 12:00 AM until 9/30/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Tunis). COUNTRY/REGION Tunisia, Gabes region

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Event

Authorities in Tunisia have extended a 17:00 to 05:00 (local time) curfew in place in El Hamma and El Hamma West (Gabes governorate) until at least September 3. The curfew extension comes amid an uptick in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in these areas. Exemptions to the curfew include medical emergencies.

Tunisian authorities announced that as of August 15, travelers arriving from France, Belgium, and Iceland will have to present a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, carried out no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. The three European countries have been moved from green risk areas to orange amid increased COVID-19 outbreaks in those countries.

All individuals are required to wear face masks in public spaces in Tunisia, in efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. The measure applies to both closed and open-air public spaces.

Tunisian authorities have been reopening the country and easing restrictions since June. The country's air, sea, and land borders have reopened with international airports open and flights to and from Tunisia resuming operations. The nationwide curfew has been lifted and domestic travel between cities and regions has continued. Most businesses have resumed operations at full capacity, mosques have reopened, and public transportation has resumed at a 50 percent capacity.

As of Wednesday, August 26, there have been 3069 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tunisia and 71 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in 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). 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 non-essential 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 general 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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