Non-essential businesses in Mozambique are permitted to reopen from Tuesday, September 1, as the government enters the second stage of the phased easing of restrictions introduced due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Businesses including cinemas, theatres, casinos, gymnasiums, and driving schools will be authorized to reopen with enhanced hygiene measures in place, including regular cleaning and disinfection. Customers will also be required to wear face masks.
The phased easing of the country's COVID-19 lockdown began on August 18 with the resumption of face-to-face teaching at schools and other educational institutions and lifting of restrictions on religious gatherings of up to 50 people. However, there have been questions over the ability of schools, places of worship, and businesses to meet new hygiene and social distancing requirements.
Further restrictions are due to be lifted under the third phase of the plan on October 1, allowing the reopening of all schools in the country. However, some institutions will not reopen until specific conditions set by local authorities are met, while bars and shops selling alcoholic beverages will remain closed indefinitely.
Restrictions on foreign travel were previously lifted on August 21, allowing Mozambicans to leave and enter the country without the need to gain authorization from the interior minister. Foreigners can also leave and enter the country, so long as they have a valid work visa, valid residence permit, visa, or ID. However, commercial flight options remain limited.
COVID-19 mitigation measures, including the compulsory use of face masks in public places, also remain in place.
As of September 1, health authorities have confirmed 3916 cases of COVID-19, with 23 associated 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). 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 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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