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02 Sep 2020 | 12:55 PM UTC

Colombia: Authorities lift lockdown measures and other COVID-19 restrictions from September 1 /update 26

Colombia News Alert

Colombian authorities lift lockdown measures and other COVID-19 restrictions from September 1; follow official directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/2/2020, 12:00 AM until 9/16/2020, 11:59 PM (America/Bogota). COUNTRY/REGION Caribbean coast, Bogotá

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Event

On Tuesday, September 1, Columbian authorities lifted the country's initial coronavirus disease (COVID-19) related quarantine measures after nearly five months of national lockdown. The country is now in a phase of selective quarantine, with local authorities permitted to impose their own restrictions on businesses according to the rate of infection in the area. Airports, bus terminals, restaurants, and gyms reopened in most of Colombia on Tuesday as the nation attempts to reignite its economy. The step expanded previous moves that allowed shops, construction sites, shopping malls, and factories to resume operations in June in most of the country's cities.

Bogota's El Dorado airport (BOG) reopened to passengers flying domestic routes for the first time since March, with international flights expected to resume nationwide sometime in late September. Bogota Mayor Claudia Lopez announced that restaurants in the capital will be allowed to resume table service starting on Thursday but can operate at only 25 percent capacity.

As of September 1, there have been 624,026 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, and 20,050 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be 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 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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