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20 mai 2020 | 12h01 UTC

El Salvador: Government extends COVID-19 lockdown restrictions until June 6 /update 13

El Salvador Alerte de sécurité

El Salvadorian government extends COVID-19 lockdown restrictions until June 6 amid legal battle with Congress over reopening of the economy; follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 20/5/2020, 12h00 until 6/6/2020, 11h59 (America/El_Salvador). COUNTRY/REGION El Salvador

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On Tuesday, May 19, the El Salvadorian government extended the country's lockdown measures in place to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) until Saturday, June 6. The extension comes amid tensions between President Nayib Bukele and Congress over the reopening of the country's economy. Bukele has threatened to veto a law passed by Congress which is aimed at accelerating the reopening of the economy. The President and his supporters believe it is too soon to reopen many areas of the economy as the number of cases of COVID-19 is still rising. On Monday, May 18, the Supreme Court ruled against Bukele's attempts to extend the country's state of emergency without approval from Congress.

El Salvador has implemented some of the strictest lockdown measures in the region. Under the measures only one person per household is permitted to go outside to shop for essential items and the use of facemasks is mandatory in public. Public spaces and most businesses are closed, with the exception of grocery stores, banks, and health services. Citizens are only able to purchase supplies in markets and supermarkets on specific days in the week, according to their national identity or passport number. All public transportation, as well as taxi services, have also been suspended. Quarantine measures are being strictly enforced by police, and reports suggest that hundreds of people have been arrested due to violations. Essential professions are exempt from the lockdown, including doctors, public servants, the military, police, and restaurant workers, among others.

As of Wednesday, May 20, there are 1571 confirmed COVID-19 cases in El Salvador, including 31 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be 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 (China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


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 general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or 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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