Authorities in Lesotho are moving to the highest level of restrictions 2359 Jan. 14-2359 Jan. 28, due to the rapidly increasing numbers of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections; however, restrictions may be extended beyond this date. According to the Risk Determination Framework Mitigation measures, authorities will increase the country's response level from orange to red, the most severe of the lockdown measures. This decision comes after authorities moved the country from purple to orange Jan. 6. The following restrictions, according to this framework, will be implemented:
A nationwide 1900-0600 curfew will be in effect.
All nonessential businesses will be closed. Only healthcare, financial, funeral services, and grocery stores are permitted to operate.
Retail supermarkets and grocery stores are permitted to operate between 0800-1600.
All persons are required to stay at home unless to use essential services.
No gatherings, apart from those communicating COVID-19 information, are permitted. These gatherings are also limited to 30 participants.
Only 10 people are permitted to attend funerals. They should not be longer than two hours and must be completed by 1000.
All international travel in and out of the country is prohibited, apart from medical reasons and approved essential services.
Public transport is permitted to continue; however, with a limited number of passengers.
The wearing of protective facemasks is compulsory in public spaces.
Security forces and members of the army will be deployed to enforce lockdown measures. Regulations are subject to change at short notice.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.
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