Algerian authorities announced revisions to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions for provinces across the country effective from Thursday, October 1. The partial lockdown measures in place in 18 provinces have been reduced to 11 provinces. Lockdown measures were lifted in ten provinces including Bouïra, Tébessa, Médéa, Illizi, Boumerdès, El Taref, Tindouf, Tipaza, Aïn Defla, and Relizane. Containment measures and a nightly curfew will be in place for 30 days from October 1 between 23:00-06:00 (local time) in the following provinces: Algiers, Annaba, Batna, Béjaïa, Blida, Constantine, Jijel, Oran, Sétif, Tizi Ouzou, and Tlemcen.
Previously, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced that the country's borders will remain closed until the end of the pandemic. Non-cargo international air and maritime travel, as well as domestic flights, also remain suspended. Individuals permitted to enter Algeria, including returning Algerian nationals and foreign travelers, will be required to quarantine for seven days in a government-designated hotel followed by seven days self-isolation at a location of the traveler's choosing.
Algerian authorities began the first phase of easing restrictions at the beginning of June, with the majority of businesses permitted to reopen. Public transportation has resumed operation nationwide with limitations on the number of passengers permitted; taxi and app-based ride-sharing services have also begun operating again, following strict regulations. A ban on public and private vehicle traffic between provinces on weekends has been lifted. Restaurants have also reopened in provinces where officials have lifted lockdown measures. The measures prohibiting any type of gathering, including weddings and family gatherings, will continue. Residents are required to wear face masks when in public, including in vehicles. Individuals should continue to observe social distancing guidelines, staying at least 1m (3 ft) apart when interacting with each other. Schools and universities remain closed. Security forces will enforce measures; violators could face fines or other penalties.
As of Friday, October 2, there have been 51,690 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1741 associated fatalities in Algeria. 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 disease.
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