The first confirmed COVID-19 case was reported on March 20, 2020. Prevention measures taken by the authorities include: installation of body temperature scans in airports, suspension of official travel and flights to China and other heavily affected countries, preparation of quarantine areas in hospitals, suspension of flights from European countries affected by COVID-19, the United States, Brazil, Senegal and Nigeria, as well as maritime traffic (with few exceptions), and quarantine of the island of Boa Vista where the community spread started inside a resort hotel. The authorities have also prepared a contingency plan and put in place a rapid response team. In late March, they declared the state of emergency, put in place social distancing measures, restricted travel between the nine inhabited islands, and put the country in lockdown for non-essential activities. Commercial air and passenger traffic resumed on October 12.
Reopening of the economy. On May 29, 2020, the government lifted the State of Emergency for all islands. In line with it, the Prime Minister announced a deconfinement plan that includes : (i) resumption of inter-island air travel on July 15, (ii) resumption of maritime connections for passenger transport, originating and destinating to Boa Vista island on June 1 and to Santiago island on July 15, (iv) restarting of cultural and sport events on October 1, (v) reopening of restaurants with regular hours on June 1, (vi) increased rapid tests in Praia’s laboratories, (vii) creation of an incentive framework to support companies to adapt their activity to the new requirements and standards of the deconfinement plan, and (viii) implementation of a digital platform for tracking positive cases of COVID-19. Commercial air and passenger traffic resumed on October 12, 2020. In response to the recent surge in cases the authorities on April 30, 2021 declared a state of emergency for 30 days in all the islands except Brava along with the reinforcement of existing measures and protocols.