Authorities in Moldova extended the country's public health emergency until at least Wednesday, September 30, due to a recent uptick in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. The state of emergency was due to expire on Tuesday, September 15. Despite the latest extension, authorities also announced the easing of certain restrictions.
Private events, including weddings and celebrations, will be permitted to host up to 50 people. Social distancing guidelines remain in place. Face masks or coverings remain compulsory for individuals to wear when using public transport, in shops, and in all public closed spaces such as supermarkets, restaurants, and bars. Additional restrictions apply for outdoor spaces including playgrounds, stadiums, and parks, in Chișinău. Groups of more than three persons remain prohibited in public spaces and individuals above the age of 63 must remain in their homes, except for emergencies. In efforts to restart the economy, the government has permitted economic activity to resume across the country. In Chișinău economic activity has resumed, except for nightclubs, cinemas, theaters, and concert halls. Schools and educational institutions have resumed operations.
International air travel has resumed and commercial flights are operating to and from Moldova. Additional health screening, hygiene, and social distancing measures are in place at airports and on airlines. Passengers arriving from designated "green" countries (low rate of infection) will not need to self-isolate upon arrival. All travelers arriving from "red" designated countries (high rate of infection), or if they transit through a red location, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Countries currently on the red list include Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Croatia, India, Israel, Mexico, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, and the US. Flight crews, freight transport drivers, members of train or ship crews will be reportedly exempt from this measure. Additional exemptions are in place and can be found here. Some land borders to Ukraine and Romania are open for rail and road transport, however, most non-Moldovan citizens remain banned.
As of September 15, there have been 43,207 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1129 associated deaths in Moldova. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in 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 virus.
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