We began collecting these updates on September 28, 2020. Expats talk about the coronavirus outbreak in their areas, how they are coping, travel restrictions, COVID-19 testing, the status of hospitals, changes and impacts to visa and immigration procedures and more.
We are experiencing the third wave of infections after all of the activity during Easter week.
The situation is being controlled by the Mayor of Cali with every other day entrance to large commercial establishments depending on your ID number.
We appear to be better off than Bogota, Medellin, and Barranquilla despite the super-social tendencies of the population here. - Read Full Report from Cali, Colombia
Costa Rica is again open for tourism. While things open up, restrictions still exist and the situation is dynamic and can change suddenly. I've tried to give you a framework to judge the situation and to help make your travel decisions wisely. We are reopening our tours with our 4 day guest house tours back in operation but we are limiting our tours to a maximum of 4 people. We are taking steps to ensure we are operating safely but do acknowledge that Covid19 has not gone away and travelers visit at their own risk. We do require that masks are worn while in our vehicles and that social distancing is practiced at all times. We want to ensure the safely of our guests as well as our staff and contractors.
History- Costa Rica was quick to shut down entry to the country as the outbreak of Covid19 spread across the globe. Early cases of Covid19 were brought by travelers to/from the US as well as travelers from the other countries. In February a Costa Rican doctor arrived from Panama and returned to his work in a hospital in Alajuela. He later tested positive and contract tracing showed 25 other people were infected from contact with him. The first death in Costa Rica was on March an 87 year old male who'd been treated by the doctor mentioned above. The first confirmed case was on March 06 after a woman from New York tested positive. She and her husband had arrived into Costa Rica on March 1st. They were quarantined but another case was linked to them a few days later. As of November 1st, Costa Rica has had 110,000 cases of confirmed Covid19, 66,719 recovered cases and 1,385 deaths, bringing Costa Rica into the top 20 countries with the highest infection rate per capita.
Actions Taken - Costa Rica acted quickly, declaring a national state of emergency on March 16 and closing all public schools. They shut down borders to all but nationals and permanent residents on March 18, including air, ground and sea. If a Costa Rican national or permanent resident chose to leave Costa Rica at this time, they would not be permitted to return. Furthermore those with permanent residence status would lose their residence status if they chose to leave Costa Rica after the lock down. This was enacted "to keep Nicaraguans from returning to their country for Easter holidays" but affected all with permanent residency. Nationals and permanent residents had a small window to return to Costa Rica if they were outside Costa Rica when the lock down was implemented.
Shutting Down - As Costa Rica shut down, various curfews on driving, beach closures, casinos, bars, clubs, hotels, restaurants, public and national parks all were completely closed or regulated. The government enacted a safety net program with payments to some employees via the national government though not much public assistance was rolled out. They also empowered the public force (police) to issue compliance, shut down and levy fines on individuals, businesses and drivers that did not comply to national mandates. A variety of color coded safely levels were devised to declare the required curfews and compliance regulations by canton/state.
Current Situation - Costa Rica has now opened its borders to all US states including Washington DC as well as many other countries. They began opening to other countries (non US) in early September. By Early October, they started opening to US states based on the number of cases per 100,000 in those states. As the border opened, the government initially required all entering to have passed a Covid19 test within 3 days of arrival to Costa Rica, a requirement which has been recently dropped.
Travel Requirements for Foreigners – As of November 1 all travelers to Costa Rica must be covered by a Covid19 health/medical insurance policy providing for example two weeks of hotel cost coverage in the event of quarantine, repatriation expenses, medical insurance in the event of contracting Covid19 while in Costa Rica, etc. Two national companies in Costa Rica offer this insurance online including the INS (Institute Nacional de Seguros) with application found at https://cotiza.ins-cr.com/frmDatosIncluir.aspx?P=431 and Sagicor, application found at https://tiendasagicor.com/en/ You can provide proof of this medical Covid19 insurance from a foreign policy as well. For the best deal I've found so far on travel insurance that complies with the Costa Rican mandate, see https://www.trawickinternational.com/travel-insurance-plans/costa-rica-required-travel-insurance
Health Pass - You also have to secure a health pass online that can be found at https://salud.go.cr/ We advise people to complete the application process for this pass a few days before your arrival into Costa Rica since it does require confirmation of your cell number and email address for example.
Airline Updates - Here is a current (November 1st) updated list of US airlines currently offering flights to Costa Rica as well as their schedules to resume flights to Costa Rica. Southwest Airlines for example will not resume flights to Costa Rica until 2021 while American had resumed flights as of mid September 2020 from both Miami and Dallas. Delta resumes flights from Atlanta as of November 2, 2020 and from LA on November 17. Jet Blue resumes operations from Fort Lauderdale on November 1, Orlando on November 4 and New York on November 20. Alaska Air resumes flights from LA on November 19. Spirit Airlines resumed flights from Fort Lauderdale in mid September. United has already resumed service from Houston and Newark, will resume from Chicago on November 7, 2020 and from Denver, Washington and LA on November 19th, 2020. And for you Canadian readers, Air Canada resumes direct flights from Toronto on November 1. A number of international carriers have also resumed or will shortly resume flights including Copa, Iberia, Air France, British Air, Avianca, KLM, Lufthansa and Volaris. Check with your airline for additional information about their updated flight schedules. Remember that your flight must originate from an authorized country to insure entry into Costa Rica.
The CDC has posted a level 3 threat on travel to Costa Rica due to Covid19 concerns.
The US Department of State has posted a level 3 warning in regards to visiting Costa Rica, which is stated as "Reconsider Travel". - Read Full Report from , Costa Rica
While much of France, mostly large urban areas, has been experiencing an alarming rise in cases (almost 27,000 yesterday), we in the Dordogne are not.
Now that the summer tourists (mostly Europeans, many of whom seemed cavalier about restrictions) have departed, the locals remain vigilant and observant of mitigation efforts. Most everyone wears a mask while out in public and always indoors, people maintain social distancing, and those of us in high-risk/vulnerable categories tend to stay home as much as possible.
Nearby Toulouse and Bordeaux are having surges, but we won't travel to those cities. The trains are running, but word has it that sanitation on the trains is less than pristine, so for now we are not traveling even though train tickets are dirt-cheap at the moment. There is no question that we are not traveling by plane anywhere.
Every couple of weeks we may go to a favorite café for a drink or a sandwich, but always outdoors and always with masks. The weather has been foreboding, so even that is a rare treat.
Once every week or two weeks we also go to a farm cooperative to buy whatever food we don't grow. That's our major outing. Mostly we stay home and work around the house or in the gardens and cook. We're doing a lot of preserving of fruits and roasting of vegetables for what is likely to be a cold winter to come. And of course, we're building up our wood supply, because we heat our house with wood stoves.
So far, we don't know a single person here who has been diagnosed with COVID, though of course we read reports that there have been cases. When we interact with workers and neighbors, everyone stays far apart and wears masks.
All in all, this seems like a safe place to be in today's world.
- Read Full Report from St-Cirq, France
Our Province requires masks and when in public transport masks and face shield. The Province i controlling the spread by requiring all members from travelling into the Province to under go a two week quarantine. Several travel related COVID cases have been discovered and stopped in this manner. All stores require temp readings and logging in in case if they have to do contact tracing. Seems to be working for COVID is not spreading amongst the local population. - Read Full Report from Daet, Philippines
Current restrictions in Belgium are relatively minimal as it relates to engagements within the borders. The most recent guidelines (which we expect to change by end of week) involve limiting personal bubbles to having close contact with no more than 5 people per week. Each person within the household can engage with their own 5 people. There is no monitoring of the adherence to this guideline so it's trust based.
Travel is more restricted with mandatory 7 day quarantine upon return from a Red zone including the requirement for a negative corona test result taken on day 5 following the return. A passenger locator form is required for anyone returning from a red zone which includes personal contact info that is leveraged to send reminders about testing. Travel back from an orange or green zone have recommendations attached to them but there are no hard requirements regarding quarantine or testing. Many counties and provinces in Spain and France are currently Red zone with more of a general Orange zone associated with most other Western European Countries. Nearly 100% of travel outside the EU zone is considered Red.
Schools are open for all grades, we haven't seen a surge of cases associated with schools but rather from returning groups of folks in the 17-25yo range.
Current daily positive case counts are still increasing across all age groups but primarily among the young adults (18-25 yo). We are seeing daily case volumes starting to exceed peak case counts back in March but seem to have much more confidence that current testing capacity is resulting in a better representation of true cases than back in March. - Read Full Report from Kortrijk, Belgium
Compared to the larger cities in California, we are doing great! I live in Morro Bay, a small coastal town in San Luis Obispo (SLO) County, We are located exactly half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Covid testing is available free of charge for symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals at various locations throughout the county.
The total population for SLO County is 280,000 with 3,685 positive cases. To date, 3,450 people have recovered, There have been 31 deaths. Our population is 70% White, 22% Hispanic or Latino. The Hispanic and Latino communities have been hardest hit.
SLO County participates in Housing for the Harvest, a program to provide temporary hotel housing options for farm and food processing employees to self-isolate if they are COVID-19 positive and do not require hospitalization, or have been exposed and cannot properly self-isolate at home. The State will book hotel rooms and the County will provide important services, such as transportation, meals and wellness checks for those who need to self-isolate for 14 days. This program not only helps farm and food processing workers, but it also helps our community's food suppliers in a particularly challenging time.
All schools will be eligible for returning to in-person instruction without a waiver on October 6, 2020 IF they have have completed a review and consultation of their plan with SLO County. Most of the private schools already opened two weeks ago with a waiver and live classes are in session. Colleges and universities are using remote online learning only. I am not sure what the high schools will do once they are allowed to reopen.
Dine-In restaurants, churches, and movie theaters are open at 25% capacity or 100 patrons, whichever is less. (No limit on restaurant take-out, as before.) Hair salons and barber shops are open. Bars, brewpubs are still closed.
Recent cases are identified as having spread between different households at gatherings. The nature of these gatherings (bringing together people from multiple households for a prolonged time, often indoors or with shared food and beverages) creates the perfect environment for COVID-19 to spread easily and quickly. Therefore, County Health officials continue to prohibit public gatherings of non-household members, No wedding receptions, dinner parties or Celebration of Life services yet.
For those who are aware of California's color-coded tier system, we are in the red tier. Each county must follow State guidelines but may allow or restrict certain activities based on that county's own Covid numbers. If you are coming to California, check with the particular county to see what activities are allowed..
- Read Full Report from Morro Bay, US
I seems that the virus is under control - only 2500 cases a day country wide. Store/bars all require masks and there is hand sanitizer everywhere. I feel fortunate that Italians take the virus seriously and abide by the rules. - Read Full Report from Milan, Italy
Numbers are slowly starting to recede. Restrictions which started in Mid March were slow to loosen... we still have a nightly curfew here in Santander and can only shop for groceries on either odd or even numbered days. Malls are now pretty much open as well as some restaurants.. the ones that haven't gone under. - Read Full Report from Santander, Colombia
I am in a small town called Tequis Mexico. a magical village 1 1/2 north of Mexico city. Most restaurants and hotels are open. The city center is busy on weekends. Most people wear masks. - Read Full Report from Tequis, Mexico
Colombia is still arguably in the initial phase albeit at the closing phase with approx 175 deaths per day, versus say the UK at 30, 0r 40 per day. With a possible 2nd phase to come together with the winter and flue seasons to tend with, it augurs for difficult times still to come.
Overall the protective measures put in place in Colombia were similar to other nations, but generally well received and applied. All the same, the level of intensive care facilities was sorely tested.
Already a poor country many of the inhabitants are destitute and suffering acutely. As a consequence, criminality has increased significantly.
- Read Full Report from Medellin, Colombia
The government is taking the correct stance. They do not and as Viktor Orban said, will not lock down the country again. So for a few weeks the border is closed with exceptions, to commercial business, neccessary business travel, sport and cultural travel. Only certain countries can travel to Hungary. Hungarians are respecting the rules. Corporations have to take care of their own rules and employees. Masks are worn in all public areas. Business as usual except for a few weeks Bars, clubs and restaurants have to close at 11:00 pm. - Read Full Report from Budapest, Hungary
After we were the first province in the first region of the first European country to be badly hit by Covid all is now under control. Right now there is some increase in infections and deaths since the lockdown was finished and the schools, and univiersities were reopened. However we have had no surge in new infections or deaths unlike Spain, France, UK, Israel - Read Full Report from Bergamo, Italy
There is no longer any curfew of car travel restrictions in Samborondon but there is in nearby Guayaquil. The COVID-190 cases and deaths in this area is steady to slowing, so the hospitals are now taking in other patients besides COVID-19. - Read Full Report from Samborondon, Guayaquil , Ecuador
The city of Londrina (pop. 575,000) has not been as affected as a lot of areas in Brazil. As of Sept 30, we have had 10.125 cases and 255 deaths reported. The city has gone into lockdown several times, and masks are mandated at all times when you leave the house, indoors and out. The people have accepted these restrictions and generally comply without making a big deal about it. - Read Full Report from Londrina, Brazil
All venues except bars and schools are open. Some schools have a mixture of in-class and remote teaching, others have only remote. Patronage is about 50-65 % of "normal". Vehicular traffic is reported to be at 80% - Read Full Report from Austin, US
The COVID19 positive test numbers had been decreasing a little but now they are starting to increase again. Overall numbers are not high but as a % of population we are in the top countries with most new cases. - Read Full Report from Nassau, Bahamas
It's actually very difficult to get any information that feels even remotely reliable. I can tell you that a large portion of the people I see are masked up but having been to other areas of the city, I have to believe that a large portion of those areas have absolutely no regard for safety. I don't know if they don't believe in it or what but there is blatant disregard everywhere you look. Kind of like everywhere. From news outlets, it seems there are dips then surges in the infection rate so although I believe the hospitals are now far better able to treat the infected, it's probably good to err on the side of caution in Brazil. - Read Full Report from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
We began collecting these updates in March of 2020. Expats shared on-the-ground information about the coronavirus outbreak, how they were coping, how they were preparing for the future, the status of hospitals and more.
But only a few hotels are taking inter island visitors right now unless they stay with family. The 14 day quarantine for inter island travelers has been canceled for now. Subject to virus cases. - Read Full Report from Kailua-kona, US
We are officially currently at 92 confirmed cases and 11 deaths. Testing is limited here so numbers are probably higher but the lockdown started early so not likely to be as wide spread as in the nearby USA. - Read Full Report from Nassau, Bahamas
There were a total of 4 Ecuadorians with mild cases of the virus diagnosed in the Canton during the first 2 weeks of the Lockdown. None hospitalized. Sent home with an antibiotic and told to rest, and get plenty of liquids. No Extranjeros have been diagnosed with illness. Extreme Lockdown since March 15, 2020. People can only be on the street 2 days a week from 5:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.. Your specific days are dependent on the last number of your cedula or passport. Cannot congregate or loiter in parks or on the street. Go directly to your destination and back home. Can only go out for food, to the pharmacy or an ATM. We have police stationed at the roads leading into town, to stop anyone from entering or leaving. This town of 9,000 people has 1 small supermarket open from 7:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. daily. We have to produce our cedula to be admitted, then get sprayed down with disinfectant, and wear mask and gloves. The Mercado, housed in a building, is open from 7:00 a.m. until noon. Only 6-8 people allowed in at a time. We must produce a cedula or passport and step into a basin of disinfectant before entering. We are discouraged from stopping to talk or visit with friends, can only really talk to the vendors and get out as quickly as possible. The first week or two of the Lockdown the supermarket and pharmacies were running out of supplies. We had about 2 weeks with no beef or pork available, and quite a few nearly bare shelves. The supply chain reorganized and since then, we have had nearly everything we need. - Read Full Report from Cotacachi, Ecuador
The madness continues. We have been under a severe lockdown. The virus has killed about 500, even with inflating the numbers. The people have not been free to move. Buses shut down. Taxis only allowed to run one day a week. People only allowed on the street from 9am till 2 pm. The government does not give any monetary assistance to the people that are locked down and not allowed to work or operate their business. There has not been a virus death for 16 days, but the lockdown continues. No mail, no shipping, not allowed to leave the county. Only one person allowed in a taxi.
The death toll from the lockdown is in the thousands. One of our friends just died because he could not get his medicine. Others reported dead because they were not allowed to go to the hospital for their kidney dialysis. Deaths mounting from domestic violence. Couples that got along under normal circumstances do not do well when they are locked in their home with no money and no food. The central government has now decided to allow the mayors to decide from Monday on. The mayor of the only real city in our province has already announced that he will continue the lock down for another month. We are hoping to hear a better decision from the mayor of our little village. We are lucky that we have adequate food production in our local area that we are allowed to move in. I am hearing that in the less developed countries, there has already been 2 million children that have died from starvation. They are expecting that this will increase to hundreds of millions in the near future. - Read Full Report from Vilcabamba, Ecuador
Everything seems under control in this city. Restrictions are very strict.. far more severe and imposed far earlier than Western nations. In a city of appr. 700,000 there are about 100 cases. - Read Full Report from Cuenca, Ecuador
As of late, all shops have been closed since March 20 except supermarkets and communications services. And, of course, the banks are open. All schools have been closed since the end of March and might reopen by May 3 or 10 at the earliest, provided the infection rate curve doesn't broaden any further. The number of infected people doubled from about 500 this past week, but there are under fifty reported deaths from what I've heard. For two weeks now, everyone must wear a mask at all times when venturing from their homes and maintain a 2m distance from each other. And people cannot drive their cars as they please except for special reasons such as going to work or to a hospital. Delivery trucks are allowed. Motorists who qualify must obtain a pass and produce it at one of the large numbers of checkpoints around the city. Auxiliary and military police handle this responsibility. Fines are levied against motorists who shouldn't be on the roads and against pedestrians who aren't wearing a mask properly or at all. But no one dares to go out and about without a mask. I teach at an international school, so for the past three weeks I've been teaching my students on the Classroom Google and Zoom platforms. Hopefully, the rate of infections won't increase and the situation will be contained. Life here can be irritating. - Read Full Report from Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Country is seeing very slow spread of cases but like elsewhere testing is sorely limited.
Country moved to isolate quickly and shut down non essential work. Although with the controls in place starting to see some people going back to work if they can do so safely, such as the construction industry which opened this week.
People are taking to wearing masks quite quickly in my area, no shortages except for masks and hand sanitizer which sell out but become available again fairly soon after. Zero issues with food or TP from what I have seen.
Things might be different in the Capital where most of the people live. - Read Full Report from Punta del Este, Uruguay
My wife and I live on Isla Mujeres, a small island just east of Cancun, Mexico. It's usually bustling with tourists, but now it is hushed. All hotels, resorts, and bars have been closed as well as the restaurants. Some restaurants are allowed to do carry-out and delivery, but no eating in at their place. Most small businesses have been declared non-essential. Schools and churches are also closed. Just a few days ago, they instituted new rules for vehicles. We can go to work, the grocery store, and the pharmacy. During parts of the day, you must be able to show documentation for your reason to be out. If you are out after 8 PM, you'd better be on your way to the hospital. If you are spotted on the beach, or just out for a walk, you will be sent home, possibly ticketed. Next week they plan to distribute face masks door-to-door, and anyone outdoors or at work will always be required to wear one.
So far, the police have been very polite and helpful, but I wouldn’t want to irritate them in any way.
The islanders are quickly going broke. The primary source of income is the tourist business, so unemployment is widespread. The government has started passing out food baskets to every household. The central grocery store has begun home delivery for those who have access to their website.
As of this posting, the island has only one case of Covid-19. There is a hospital here, but they have no equipment to treat this disease. The hospital is more like an urgent care center back in the States. If you come in with a severe problem, they will do their best to stabilize you and transfer you by ferry to a larger hospital in Cancun.
There are several instances of real generosity. One group of ex-pats collected money and distributed about 250 grocery store gift cards. A local restaurant served a fish dinner to over 200 people at no charge. Finally, a local restaurateur has been distributing food baskets. He even volunteered to prepare meals in his home kitchen for those who could not cook and will also deliver them. Ruben has been known for years for his huge heart for the children and disadvantaged folks of the island.
- Read Full Report from Isla Mujeres near Cancun, Mexico
There's no outbreak here, but when it comes "everybody" is going to die. The most haphazard people I've seen in my travels. There was a guy at the open fruit market laughing at me and my mask this morning. - Read Full Report from Guadalajara, Mexico
State parks, trails, as well as all non-essential venues are cMostly losed w/the exception of drive up services i.e. McDonalds etc remain open. Here in Citrus county, all grocery, hardware, Walmart, Lowes, etc remain open with social distancing rules adhered to and lane closures inside to limit access to non essential s such as toys, bikes etc. - Read Full Report from Tampa, US
There are only 2 positive cases of the Coronavirus in Davao Del Sur province where Toril is located. Both those cases are in Digos, 45 minutes South of Toril. Toril is outside of Davao City limita. - Read Full Report from Toril, Philippines
What I know or believe is what I am gathering from daily news updates from two main Belarusian news sources, in addition to information shared in lengthy conversation with friends/colleagues who live here. Some of them have friends or relatives in the healthcare field in Belarus.
CASELOAD/MORTALITY: The most recent figures I have seen are 700+ confirmed cases (with many reports that ill people seeking tests were denied tests due to not fitting the required profile of having been abroad lately or not having the right set of symptoms), 53 recovered, 13 have died. I have heard that at one of the city's 11 ambulance department teams, 1/2 of the doctors (who ride in each ambulance) have become too ill to work. One person who is in a hospital for an unrelated condition, was told by nursing staff that that hospital is full of pneumonia cases, as is happening at the city's other hospitals. The medical personnel fear for their health as there is very little medical PPE for them. Once citizens heard of this, some efforts arose to raise funds and a million Euros were raised to buy PPE and other gear for the hospitals and employees.
COMMUNITY/PRIVATE SECTOR OUTREACH AND FUNDRAISING:: Cafes and restaurant staff started preparing free meals for hospitals and clinic/labs staff. One taxi firm is reported to be offering free transport for healthcare workers.
STAY AT HOME PRACTICES: In the absence of government directives for non-essential businesses to close temporarily, some firms have had to close as customers have shrunken away, meaning revenue too low to stay open. About a month ago, some IT firms started keeping employees working from home, with some other firms following them. Mine, which employees about 2,200 people in Minsk, has had most of us working from home for at least two weeks , keeping only essential personnel at the office. The government may fear that the economy would be unable to withstand the damage of sudden and widespread business stoppage, so they continue to repeat that this requires nothing more than personal hygiene efforts, i.e. washing our hands, not touching our faces and keeping a bit of distance. Now, they are seeing more cases rise daily and seeing the pressure on medical facilities, still insist on allowing people the choice to close or keep open their businesses, including events, concerts, sports games, and a military parade for a national holiday soon. Thousands of soldiers are marching in rehearsal together to prepare in the streets. "Nothing to see here - just carry on." I fear for the consequences beyond the economic ones - the inability of the hospitals to handle the caseload, the funeral services to handle the calls, the stock of medical equipment and medicines and masks for the general population. Only Sweden and Belarus within Europe defy the sensible precautions that this calls for, despite Italy's experience with such nonchalance. It is like standing on a beach, staring at an approaching tsunami and refusing to accept that it will slam into you. Well, that's your right, but govt leaders have the obligation to guide, direct and even push people out of the way of calamity; it is their essential reason to exist. PRICES: Reports are coming in that prices of certain foods (except for those protected and frozen by the govt), as well as masks and hand sanitizers, have gone up quite a bit, and now the govt is suppressing that business practice. I don't notice a price change in local stores, where I see fewer shoppers in stores along with normal amounts of all products. No panic buying at all, that I've even heard of. More people are putting pressure on the grocery delivery online services, though, as well as restaurant delivery services (for the segment of the market that can afford this). Two Uber drivers have told me that all taxi services are suffering from a sudden drop in demand that began about two weeks ago. OTHER FEARS: Perhaps more valuable than masks, the USD and EUR became in high demand once the ruble started dropping against these currencies when Saudi Arabia's oil price war hit the Russian ruble, And if the economy tanks, who will bail it out? Only Russia. And at what price?
AMERICAN EX-PATS: There are very few American expats here. One consular official estimated about 300 in the country of 9 million. Largely, they have ethnic background here or had immigrated abroad, only to return, and are spread throughout the country. I know only about four others, and Fullbright Scolars as well as English teacher trainers were told to return to the USA before flights were further restricted. I have decided to remain as I am about to sign my fourth annual contract with a tech firm, and it hardly seems sensible to enter the USA at this time.
- Read Full Report from Minsk, Belarus
DATELINE April 4, 2020, Medellín, Colombia.
It's Getting Real.
We're feeling a little more downbeat this week. There's been a lot of gloomy pandemic news lately: By some estimates, a third of humanity is now under some type of movement restriction. The global food supply chain is holding up for now but is on shaky ground. It's been hard to shake the horrifying images from Guayaquil, Ecuador, a city that has been completely overwhelmed by COVID-19. It seems an anomaly, since the rest of Ecuador and most other South American cities and countries are managing the crisis reasonably well. - Read Full Report from Medellin, Colombia
I live in Boquete Panama. There are no confirmed cases here (4/5) but there are 1800 nationally, principally in and around Panama City. Fatalities are 40. The airports are shut down so you can't leave or arrive except via U.S. military transport (on your dime, flying to a military base, not your home territory).
Nationally, we are on house quarantine except six hours a week for grocery and pharmacy trips. Women can be out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Men can be out on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
- Read Full Report from Boquete, Panama
I am holed up in rural Alabama in lockdown for who knows how long. Same story as the rest of the US, only essential services are open including liquor stores...
My girl is in my condo in Quezon City and we are doing the long distance relationship thing. So far so good. We are waiting her visa which is stuck because no one in government is working. - Read Full Report from Montgomery, US
Right now the situation in Barcelona is under control, and all the people are staying at home. Some hospitals are bit saturated, but many industries are providing materials and medical equipament for those hospitals that need it the most. The army is building hospitals as fast as they can to host new cases and to derive some of the patients there. - Read Full Report from Barcelona, Spain
So far everything is OK for me
Over 70 years old are quarantined until abt May 30. Helper for over 70 years old can work for the person
Everyone can go for groceries, banking, emergencies - one person at a time per household. Early shopping, i.e. 7:00 am, for seniors is good. Take out from restaurants available. Taxis are running.
Markets are open and well stocked considering the circumstances. Masks, alcohol, hand sanitizer hard to find, toilet paper now available in markets. Persons in market are limited so sometimes one has to wait in line to get in; they sanitize your hands with spray when you enter, handle of cart if you ask. Beginning April 1, depending upon the last number of your cedula (residency card, local id card) a person can shop two days per week for groceries, banking. There are more details, this is it basically... I see no difficulty with this, in fact, it really is a way to help suppliers and groceries to manage providing food to over four million people who live here.
When I went go grocery store and was in line with distancing, someone got in line in front of me, it was easily solved as he just wasn't used to social distancing and the fact it happens in grocery lines and it is easy to misread the space for being available as opposed to get in line behind me. Happened twice, we are all learning how to do this, no prob.
People starting up ways to provide food for unemployed, donate, they deliver to needy areas. Gov't is providing some food assistance to needy families/children in school
VERY STRICT POLICING ON BEING OUTSIDE, HELICOPTERS (Black Hawks), POLICE CARS WITH LOUD SPEAKERS ON THE SPOT. BIG FINES, REPEAT OFFENCES LEAD TO JAIL AND/OR DEPORTATION. THEY ARE NOT JOKING AROUND HERE!
- Read Full Report from Medellin, Colombia
Essential existence places are open, like Walmart and pharmacies. Otherwise, commerce is shut down. Folks here work today so they can eat today. The governor of Jalisco has declared that the stay at home demand will last through all of April.
If this is the case, I think we will see violence world wide, that is far worse than the virus.
As long as the US don't cut off my social security, I should be fine. - Read Full Report from Chapala, Mexico
Portugal has moved to 'Red Level', the highest level of emergency, and entered Mitigation Phase. This entails severe curtailment of public interaction and the request that people 'self-isolate'. All public events, theatres, restaurants and parks are closed; most beaches are closed; policing activity, called 'Operation Stop', is stopping road traffic to ensure people are on necessary business and not traveling far outside of their own city. Most important to immigrants, however, is that the government is also treating all immigrants as 'citizens' during this time. Temporary residence permits, visas, tourist travel and other documentation will not expire. We have full access to all public health care and testing, can execute rental and purchase contracts, open bank accounts and have all the rights and privileges of full citizens. Businesses are being granted rent-relief and workers have some strong pay guarantees. - Read Full Report from Lisbon Area, Portugal
Quarantine restrictions fully applied here with ending previsions postponed once again into May. A couple of days with daily number of deaths slightly down in Northern Italy, probably a sign that virus peak is close. - Read Full Report from Venice, Italy
1st case confirmed very mild we are on complete quarantine and almost all Belizeans are adhering to the rules; however, we have young people who think it does not apply to them. They think they privileged. Our EOC (Emergency Office Center) manned by all the health and department heads and great volunteers are working around the clock to minimize the spread - a truly combined effort. Ambergris Caye is taking it seriously. We wish the rest of the world blessings in their dealings with the tough fallout that is surely following.
- Read Full Report from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Well what I am seeing, only small shops are closed, big grocery stores are open. Almost all(but found one that was letting people sit inside, restaurants are only offering take out. Otherwise still plenty busy on streets n sidewalks during Rush hour. Did not see a single police officer patrolling for open things or crowd dispercement!! - Read Full Report from Bangkok, Thailand
Note: I do not speak or read the language of Uruguay [Spanish] so my knowledge of what is happening is strictly first-hand. My local grocery story is open and, as of 3/21/2020, was well stocked. The check-out clerks wear face mask but other store employees do not. The major mall is closed. Most eating establishments are closed although a few are open here and there. - Read Full Report from Montevideo, Uruguay
There are 1,327 cases in New Jersey as of yesterday afternoon. There was a 49% increase yesterday with 442 new cases. That number reflects the spread, but also drive through testing locations just opened in New Jersey and more people are being tested. Conditions and government issue warnings and closures changed drastically from day to day over the last week. As of last night, New Jersey is under a stay at home order. You can leave for essentials and if you are a worker in an essential role - medical, first responders, grocery store employees, restaurants doing curb side takeout, etc. Prior to the stay at home order, many people were complying, but others were semi-adhering to the social distancing orders. Our town warned people to stop going to playgrounds and congregating at fields to play sports, but they ultimately had to close all of those types of recreational areas a few days ago. Our kids, like kids throughout the world, switched to remote learning a week ago. That has been a helpful distraction and I am so grateful for all of the work teachers and administrators have been doing to make this change to online learning possible. Friends who have family members in essential roles are frightened by the lack of masks, gloves and other protective gear. There are online please by local nurses and hospitals to bring any extra N-95 masks and crocs - crocs can be easily bleached. People with sewing machines are making masks that are not N95 but will provide some coverage. It's a scary time here, but I'm glad the stay at home order was issued and hope that it helps to flatten the curve. I wish they would have issued it a week ago when schools were closed. - Read Full Report from Bernardsville, US
So far Margarita Island has no Virus. Muduro has locked down the whole country the mainland is in dire straights Caracas has no water and no petrol. Here on the island we are confined to our houses or apartments. But things are quiet and not stressed. I still go to the beach for a swim a walk to the shops get food. - Read Full Report from Porlamar, Venezuela
Uzbekistan is in lockdown and all schools were closed this week until April 5. A number of new cases of infected people rose this week, so if the rise continues, there's a chance schools will remain closed longer. This past week, I heard only two commercial airliners take off from the nearby international airport in Tashkent. These must be repatriation flights, since all regular flights were grounded about 2-3 weeks ago. 2400 returnees are either in quarantine or in isolation at home. - Read Full Report from Tashkent, Uzbekistan
We do not have reported cases in the city but in the region stemming from the ports of entry within 2 hours. It feels safe here and people are careful - Read Full Report from Valdivia, Chile
There is only once "confirmed" case of Covid-19 in Nicaragua at this point in time (3/19/2020). The government is "monitoring" the situation but has not imposed any restrictions at the borders or internally. But our local Expat community is actively taking steps to minimize potential transmission of the disease. - Read Full Report from Tola, Nicaragua
We are all quarantined in our homes. Although you can see people breaking the rules. They are only letting a very small amount of people in the stores. And children under 16 are not allowed in. Amazing some resturants are staying open. The water is being cut in various areas for hours at a time. Every town has there time. There is barely any food on the shelves. But there was plenty of fresh foods! No we didnt get any at all. People are not taking it as serious as they should. An 80-year-old woman got it from being in contact with someone from a cruise ship. She died. Firefighters got it from answering a call of people saying someone fainted. The man had taken the cruise or been in contact with someone that was on it. He was trying to sell food items at his restaurant. He infected the four firefighters. 24 people have been said to have it in Martinique. Schools are closed. people are still sneaking to beaches. - Read Full Report from Martinique, Martinique
All schools, restaurants, bars, many shops, hair salons, museums, ancient sites that require admmission, etc. are closed.
As of 17 March we have been asked to stay in our homes except for necessary items: groceries, pharmacy, etc.
Public transportation and taxis are still in service.
There are about 420 cases of the virus with 5 deaths throughout Greece at this point.
People are not hoarding, are very kind and seem to be following the guidelines. We are allowed to take walks outside, which helps.
- Read Full Report from Athens, Greece
Information is written in Bahasa, so not in English. Generally, there is information for people about containing the virus, with school closings. It’s not clear how seriously people take this advise. Bali, where I am, is definitely not in lock down. Seemed like people were very slow to start tracking this and now seemed dazed that suddenly there are changes in their jobs with a dramatic slow down in tourists. There is no large scale testing, and everything here is kind of vague. Fortunately, one can get things delivered easily, with a $35 minimum purchase at a grocery store. I can order organic veggies online for delivery, and there’s plenty of delivery options for food of all kinds here. Bali is getting quiet now with the outflux of tourists, especially Chinese who are the largest population of tourists here normally. So for being an expat right now, it is quite pleasant with the drop in traffic. I can find a rental now much more inexpensively, too. - Read Full Report from Bali, Indonesia
Sheltering in place, no transportation is allowed. Last international flights leave today.
I decided to shelter in place.
The supermarket remains open earlier than we wake up until 8pm. Lines are long, but this place is so inefficient normally that this is not a huge change.
All the necessaries are still available, minus face masks and limited hand sanitizer.
- Read Full Report from Pasay, Vilamor, Philippines
Panama closed their borders last week. Only Panamanians and foreigners with a permanent residency Visa can get in ( they must self-quarantine for 14 days)
Malls are closed, Gyms are closed. Beaches are closed. Movie theaters are closed.
Immigration is closed to everyone except a lawyer. Many government offices are closed.
In Boquete and Chirqui Province, there is a curfew from 9pm to 5am. Other areas in Panama have a curfew too.
Tourists ( those without a Visa) are not allowed in to Boquete.
Several restaurants have closed temporarily. Other restaurants can only offer carry out or home delivers - no dining in is allowed.
As of March 17th, Alcohol sales are prohibited at stores or restaurants.
Everyone is encouraged to STAY HOME and only leave to buy groceries or get medications.
They only allow 50 people in a grocery store at a time to avoid being around a lot of people. There are lines to get in (with blue tape to keep 6 feet apart) but everyone is being patient. There is no hoarding. We even have toilet paper.
Flights out of Panama are getting cancelled. The window to leave Panama is closing.
The skies are blue. The air is fresh and the weather is perfect. It's a beautiful place to live. I would not want to anywhere else during this pandemic. - Read Full Report from Boquete, Panama
Schools & the university are closed, as are many restaurants and our gym at hotel Dreams. We went to Immigration today and they are only seeing people who made online appointments but it was quick and orderly. I saw a doctor on Monday at Clinica Alemana and again quick & orderly with an appointment. Pharmacies are sold out of Alcohol, Alcohol gel & Tylenol/paracetamol but otherwise fine. Antibacterial & Chlorox wipes seem to stay sold out. About 1/5 of people are wearing masks. Elbow bumps have replaced personal contact. Everything is organized and orderly but the streets still have more people than we expected. Notices on hand washing are everywhere. Our local supermarket is very well stocked. - Read Full Report from Valdivia, Chile
We're a family of 4 from the USA, we live in Pencahue, 3 hours south of Santiago the Chile. No cases yet in Pencahue but they cancel schools near by. The town near by call Talca has 3-4 cases but mild without hospitalization.
Load in vitamin c, fruits and vegetables to give you're body a chance to fight. - Read Full Report from Pencahue, Chile
Some travel restrictions as to who can enter the country, public gatherings canceled, school closures, social distancing sometime enforced such as banks only allowing one customer in at a time. Gym and activities restricted or cancelled - Read Full Report from Punta del Este, Uruguay
Portugal will close its doors, with only cross-border goods and workers allowed to enter and leave. This applies to physical and air borders.
The prime minister made it clear what Portugal will face: "the evolution period [of Covid-19] is not limited to the next two weeks but it will surely extend over the next few months". Hence, Costa admits the possibility of more restrictive measures.. The Portuguese government reassures foreigners and residents that documents that expired on and after 9 March 2020 will remain valid until 30 June, 2020. These documents do not have to be renewed during the COVID-19 crisis period and must be accepted for all legal purposes. This pertains to the following documents:
>Schengen and National Visas
>Portugal Criminal Record Check
>Birth and Marriage Certificates
>Temporary and Permanent Residence Permits
Government regulations have been implemented to reinforce social distancing, effective March 12 to April 3 and to be reviewed almost daily. This includes closure of nightclubs and bars, 1/3 reduction of seating in restaurants, closure of all schools (replaced by online instruction), museums, galleries, tourism sites, churches and postponement of all sporting events and concerts. Beaches are closed, as are all gyms and pools. Grocery stores and malls have shorter hours and restrict entry to a set number of persons at any time. Stock in grocery stores is being sustained. 1000 retired medical professionals have been returned to the workforce.
- Read Full Report from Lisbon Area, Portugal
We are in semi-self-quarantine mode as our area of Liguria is not badly hit...yet. Everything is closed except for grocery, gas stations, pharmacy and all that are open are allowing only 1-5 people inside at a time depending on the size of the store. We go out only for rations, some work related and necessities. We are checked by police and must have a form in the car saying why we are out and who we are and where we live. We are strongly encouraged to not go out of our own communities. Exits on the autostrada are being checked as to who is using the highways. There is free pharmacy and grocery delivery from our town stores. The mayor checks in via Facebook almost daily. We are in the country and can take walks as long as we are healthy. All stores and outside areas are posted with signs to stay at least 1 meter away from anyone we meet. The grocery is very well stocked...a little low on wine and beer and veggies but other than that little change. We are requested to buy not more than 5 of any one item. - Read Full Report from Carro, La Spezia, Italy
Most of the casinos, bars, restaurants and buffets are closed or closing. Cirque du Soliel and many other shows are cancelled. I have lived here for 25 years and I have never witnessed the closing of the casinos. Many employees are losing their jobs. The schools are closed. Clark County school district is the 5th largest in the nation. We have witnessed alot of people hoarding food and toilet paper and water. The grocery isles are empty . There is no meat in the store and toilet paper is a commodity. You can't find hand sanitizer anywhere either. Can't even order it on Amazon. Its the strangest thing I've ever seen. they are going to close all non essential businesses in the next few days. the good news is , that there are aloof resources available and they are making revisions for people pretty quickly. Sees to be a sense of needless panic. It is good that they are closing everything, it will prevent the spread and save vulnerable people. Our gym is closing tonight too. :( Schools are staying open to feed all the children breakfast so they don't go hungry too. - Read Full Report from Las Vegas, US
Colombia has closed all schools, and is in an emergency shut down. Only residents are permitted to fly into the country. All borders are closed. No large gatherings over 50 people. restaurants and bars have been ordered to close. - Read Full Report from Medellin, Colombia
Gov is waiting to see what happens, citzens continue to greating with kisses and hugs, busses full, business as usual and the number of seek people continue to raise. Soon will be winter. This has everything required to become a disaster. I hope i am super wrong. - Read Full Report from Atlantida, Uruguay
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