Legal Alert: Understanding the DOs and DONTs of Equatorial Guinea’s Deconfinement Measures

Legal Alert: Understanding the DOs and DONTs of Equatorial Guinea’s Deconfinement Measures

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MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, June 19, 2020/ — Decree N°45/2020 dated June 15th, 2020 has eased the sanitary emergency and the confinement measures adopted to fight against Covid-19 in Equatorial Guinea. Here is what you need to know.

The Government of Equatorial Guinea decided on June 15th, 2020 to ease the sanitary emergency and reduce the containment measures which had been in force since since March 2020.

Such measures notably include:

  • Total freedom of movement of people only in the major capitals of the country, namely Malabo and Bata. For other localities in the country, freedom of movement will only be effective within the territorial limits of localities,
  • The de-confinement process will be carried out in four (4) phases,
  • The technical committee handling the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic will periodically assess the epidemiological impact of these measures. In the event of a resurgence of the pandemic in a neighborhood, city or concrete area, appropriate measures will be taken to contain the development of the pandemic and give sufficient health assistance to the people affected,
  • Any positive or negative development of the epidemiological situation on all or part of the national territory will lead the Government to review its position.

1. Authorized activities during the first phase of deconfinement in Equatorial Guinea

All public establishments, hospitals, markets, supermarkets, banks, airports, ports and traditional healers will have to adopt appropriate protective measures such as social distancing, washing and disinfecting hands, taking body temperature using thermo flash.

Similarly, companies with more than ten (10) employees, public establishments, banks, autonomous entities, shopping centers, hotels, restaurants, public and private centers, schools, must also have a thermo flash for temperature measurement and hydro alcoholic gels, and must respect the distancing and protection measures established by the authorities and carry out daily disinfection of all their installations before starting the next working day.

Public administration and the private sector will have to promote practices such as teleworking or alternating work in order to reduce the concentration of people in public places. The use of masks will be compulsory and necessary in all places open to the public, public transport and private vehicles when accompanied by other people. Finally, heads of public administration, public and private companies must ensure that their staff have masks and gloves for their own protection and will provide them with the equipment necessary for constant hand washing,

The reopening of national and international flights as well as the national and international maritime transport of goods subject to the following conditions:

  • All passengers from abroad must present a negative PCR certificate carried out within 48 hours at the latest. Passengers without this certificate will be obliged to take the test upon arrival in Equatorial Guinea. The costs of the test as well as the hotel costs pending the results of the test will be at their expense.
  • Measures will be adopted at airports and ports to reduce the risk of contamination of travelers and crew members of planes and boats,
  • Diplomatic missions and international organizations must communicate to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation within a reasonable time the list of their personnel and family members, indicating the date of arrival, the flight number and the place of origin,
  • People from abroad must scrupulously respect the hygiene and sanitary protective measures against Covid-19 upon entering Equatorial Guinea, established by the authorities, including a compulsory quarantine of 14 days,
  • Temperature measurements will be systematic in airports and ports,
  • Asymptomatic people will be systematically placed in quarantine for 14 days in their homes or their places of residence,
  • People tested positive will be taken to Government healthcare centres,
  • These measures also apply to members of diplomatic missions, consular and international organizations who arrive in Equatorial Guinea to take office,
  • Any member of the crew of an airplane or a boat wishing to leave the port or airport area must undergo the PCR test at their expense.

Regarding the maritime transport of passengers between Bata and Malabo and vice versa, those responsible must systematically take the temperature of each passenger on departure and arrival and ensure individual protection measures.

Resumption of all economic activities in all businesses subject to the following conditions:

  • The use of the mask will be compulsory in all places of business and those responsible will have to take measures to avoid the agglomeration of customers in front of payment counters and to respect social distancing,
  • Those responsible will have to take measures to avoid the agglomeration of customers in front of places of business.

Resumption of school and academic activities subject to the following conditions:

  • Respect for protective measures during the end-of-year exams, namely the compulsory use of protective masks, avoid agglomerations of students inside the school, returning immediately to their homes at the end of the exam,
  • The teaching and management staff of school centers must have safety masks, hydro alcoholic gels and a constant hand washing device.

Resumption of activities in the hotel and restaurant sector while respecting hygiene, protection and social distancing measures subject to the following conditions:

  • Restaurants will have 50% of their capacity and respect the required distance between the tables and in their terraces,
  • Managers of hotels and restaurants will have to ensure that their staff have masks and gloves when serving customers while respecting opening and closing time,

In addition, all private clinics, medical consultations, pharmacies must inform the rapid response service and communicate to the nearest public hospitals suspected cases of patients with symptoms of Covid-19. Any violation of this provision could cause the closure of the private establishment. All traditional healers must inform the nearest public hospitals of suspected cases of patients with respiratory difficulties and use the toll-free numbers provided by the Government (1112 for Bata and 1111 for Malabo) or contact the competent administrative authorities in order to obtain the transfer of patients to the nearest referral hospitals. Any violation of this provision could result in the closure of the establishment.

2. Activities that remain prohibited during phase 1 of deconfinement in Equatorial Guinea

The following activities are prohibited during the first phase of deconfinement:

  • Civil, traditional or religious wedding ceremonies,
  • The celebration of conferences, congresses, face-to-face seminars, sports leagues and popular events,
  • The celebration of face-to-face religious acts,
  • Diplomatic and consular missions of Equatorial Guinea abroad will not be able to issue an entry visa to Equatorial Guinea except for reasons of diplomatic reciprocity.
  • All cultural activities at the end of the school year are prohibited, as well as agglomerations during the delivery of report cards. Schools should favor the delivery of reports to parents of students while respecting social distancing.
  • All patronal festivals, funerals, cultural activities, the hotel pools and nightclubs will remain closed.
  • Nightclubs, game rooms, casinos and all other playing places will also remain closed throughout the territory.

For any clarification or question on your business activities in Equatorial Guinea during or after lockdown, please contact Centurion’s Partner Mr. Anselmo Santiago Eworo Milam at anselmo.eworo@centurionlg.com

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