Lebanon's Interior Ministry has announced that the nighttime curfew in place nationwide due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic will be extended by four hours and be in effect from 21:00 to 05:00 from Monday, November 2, as cases continue to rise. The curfew will be in place until further notice, with shops required to close during these hours and people only permitted to leave their homes for essential reasons. A further 115 towns and villages will also be placed under full lockdown, joining many other areas already under these restrictions. Stay at home orders will be implemented in these locations. Residents will only be permitted to leave their homes for essential services, and when doing so they will be required to wear a face mask. The enhanced restrictions come after the number of recorded COVID-19 cases in the country nearly doubled between September and October.
Nationwide, pubs and nightclubs remain closed and social gatherings are banned. Restaurants and cafes can continue to operate at fifty percent capacity. Social distancing regulations should continue to be observed and face masks should be worn in public areas.
Travelers at Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport (BEY) are required to provide a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test prior to entering the country and take a second test on arrival. Travelers are required to self-isolate until test results are received, with restrictions varying slightly depending on the country of origin. Lebanese officials extended a general mobilization order and a national health state of emergency until December 31. The order allows the government to implement preventive measures to help counter the disease. Demonstrations and gatherings of any type remain banned.
As of November 2, there have been 82,617 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 643 associated fatalities in Lebanon. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected.
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.
Copyright and Disclaimer