Angola: COVID-19 - Angola Observes New 'Slighter' State of Emergency

Luanda — Unlike the first two periods of the State of Emergency, subdivided into 15 days each, as of 27 March, this third cycle of the exceptional regime, in force since today, imposes less strict rules.

In order to combat the new coronavirus (covid-19) and safeguard lives, the President of the Republic, João Lourenço, extended the period of social isolation, through a new Decree, with more relaxed measures.

Thus, from today (Sunday - April 26th) until May 10th, the circulation of people in 17 of the 18 provinces of the country is allowed, for commercial activity purposes, with leisure travel being prohibited.

According to the Minister of State and Head of the Civil House, Adão de Almeida, in a press conference, the measure does not cover the province of Luanda, as it was the only one to register positive cases of Covid-19, although all of them imported.

Meanwhile, all entries and exits to and from the capital of the country are prohibited, as well as maintaining the national health fence, which bans the entry of passengers into Angola by air, sea or land. In the same way, nobody can leave.

The new text of the Presidential Decree stipulates that the mandatory quarantine (institutional and domiciliary) and the mandatory testing of people in this condition is maintained.

It allows civil servants to work and extend the period of activity, from 08h00 to 18h00, with only 50 percent of workers against the 1/3 (one third) in force, in the two previous phases: 27 March to 10 April and 11 to 25 of this same month.

Other innovations are the total resumption of the country's industrial activity, the reopening of General Trade and the permission to carry out public works that are deemed essential.

Urban public transport, especially buses and taxis, are now allowed to increase capacity to 50 per cent of capacity, also going from 1/3 (one third) before determining, working from 05h00 to 18h00.

As for the restrictions, sports activities are still banned , with the exception of individual leisure sports, at two specific times: 05h00 to 06h00 and 17h00 to 19h00, in appropriate places.

Educational establishments, restaurants and bars remain closed. Media libraries and libraries are closed; collective religious services are still prohibited, while street vendors and informal markets can be held on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

There is also still a ban on the movement of citizens not covered by the exceptions, who must remain in social isolation in their homes, under the risk of sanctions for moving without plausible reasons.

In this respect, the presentation of the document justifying the movement of workers (work statement and pass) remains compulsory.

Under the new measures, it is compulsory the wearing of individual masks in markets, social or public places, urban and inter-provincial public transport, and prohibited the leisure activities, in general.

The State of Emergency has been in force since 27 March last in Angola, with detection of 25 positive cases of Covid-19, of which two died and six were recovered. So far, there have been no contagion in the communities.

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