Authorities in Cote d’Ivoire have reintroduced the country’s state of health emergency from Jan. 21 through at least Feb. 28 as part of efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). New measures under the state of health emergency include the increased enforcement of public hygiene directives and a reduction in the period of validity for entry and exit test certificates.
International TravelDespite the state of emergency, domestic and international flights are going; travelers arriving in Cote d’Ivoire will need to present negative COVID-19 test results taken up to five days before arrival under the new edict. Individuals without this document may not be allowed to travel. Travelers will also have to declare their trip on the official travel reporting portal and pay XOF 2,000 (USD 3.57). Travelers must present the declaration form at the port of entry. Arriving travelers will be screened, and travelers with a temperature above 38 degrees will be tested at personal expense. Travelers who meet all requirements will be allowed to enter the country and are encouraged to self-isolate for two weeks and monitor symptoms. Travelers who test positive may be quarantined at a government facility.
Travelers leaving Cote d’Ivoire also require a negative COVID-19 test and a declaration form. The test must be taken no more than five days before departure. Cargo and freight transport will likely continue through land and sea borders, with increased screening in place. Land and sea borders are reportedly closed to regular commercial passenger travel; however, Ivorian and ECOWAS nationals, residents, and foreign nationals with valid visas may be allowed to enter.
Domestic MeasuresAuthorities have called for stricter enforcement of hygiene and social distancing measures, including the use of facemasks in all public spaces and vehicles. Social distancing and other hygiene measures remain in place at other public forums. Large gatherings have resumed with the approval of local authorities. Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
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. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.
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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