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Angola closes borders amid Covid-19

Thu, 19 Mar 2020 10:31 - Updated Thu, 19 Mar 2020 10:31

President of Republic João Lourenço Photo: Cedida

Luanda - Angolan Government has announced the suspension from March 20 00:00 of all commercial and private passenger flights from the country to abroad and vice versa for 15 days, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decree is extendable to an equal period of time, depending on the global behaviour of the disease.

The decision is expressed in Presidential Decree signed Wednesday by the President of the Republic, João Lourenço.

According to the document, all passengers who disembark at national airports by noon on March 20, 2020 must complete the health control form upon disembarkation required by the competent authorities.

The note also stresses that these passengers must stay at home for a minimum period of fourteen days and comply with the guidelines of the Ministry of Health.

The provisional decree bans visit to the citizens during the period of time they are in quarantine.

The Decree points out that the administrations and departments of the institutions of the Central and Local Administration of the State, as well as the employers of public and private companies must consider as justified the absence from work of the citizens, which results from the observance of the quarantine period, under the terms the provisions of this law.

Land border interdiction

The ban also cover circulation of people at land borders, docking and disembarkation of passenger ships and their crews, coming from outside the country, in all national ports from.

The measure, points out the note, is not applicable to the docking and disembarkation of cargo ships.

As for cargo ships, disembarkation of crews is only allowed in case of need for assistance for medical and humanitarian grounds, observing in any case the prevention protocol established to combat the pandemic of COVID-19.

Preventive measures

This includes holding of public events such as religious cults, cultural, recreational, sporting, political, associative, tourist, private and any other activities, with the agglomeration of more than 200 (two hundred) people.

It adds that all public and private facilities, including shopping centers, markets, restaurants, bars, cafeterias, train and bus stations, ports, airports, places of worship, offices, schools and other congregation places that remain open to the public must create adequate and accessible conditions for hand hygiene, with soap and running water, or disinfectant based on alcohol gel.

On the other hand, the document recommends to all citizens the observance of restriction in close personal contact, such as handshakes and hugs, especially in congregational settings, such as schools, offices, places of worship and others.

It also recommends the permanent observance of hygiene measures that avoid dissemination, participation in unnecessary meetings, as well as taking trips to the inland and abroad that are not essential.

Finally, it particularly recommends the observance of strict hygiene standards, in accordance with the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, in the means of collective passenger transport, such as buses, taxis, trains, airplanes and ships.

The decree also directs the competent bodies of the State, assigned to the Ministries of Health, Interior, National Defence and Transport to ensure compliance with and materialization of the guidelines.