7 April 2020
Client Alert | Algeria
Considering the COVID-19 public health crisis and the increase in number of Covid-19 cases in the country, the Algerian government has gradually taken a series of general measures to contain the spread of the virus. These measures have been the subject of two main texts
These measures are applicable throughout Algeria for a period running, at this point, until 19 April 2020. Any non-respect of these measures is likely to lead to administrative sanctions (immediate withdrawal of administrative authorisations for running business activities) and criminal sanctions. The latter have as yet not been expressly defined.
The measures put in place in this way are organised around the following restrictions, it being specified that any damage resulting from their application could be compensated under conditions yet to be defined.
These restrictions add to the closure of kindergartens, schools, universities and higher education facilities that had previously been put in place.
Citizen transport activities are suspended, regardless of conditions:
This suspension does not, however, apply to the transport of staff paid for by the employer.
In addition, the Minister of Transport and the Walis are in charge of organising the transport of those people necessary for the continuity of the public service and the maintenance of vital activities in the public service (health, security, customs, fraud control, etc.), public institutions and administrations, and economic entities and financial services.
In addition, the government has begun to introduce home containment operations for the population, either partially (i.e. during time slots defined by the public authorities) or totally.
During containment periods, the circulation of people is forbidden, except with exceptional authorisation for the following reasons:
The procedures for issuing these authorisations are defined by commissions specially set up at wilaya level. These commissions may also adapt the measures and take any other additional measure in the light of the specific features of the wilaya, and changes in the situation.
To date, the following containment measures have been put in place
During the containment period, any meeting of over two people is forbidden.
In addition, a mandatory preventive measure consisting of a safety distance of at least 1 metre between two persons is introduced. This measure applies to all administrations and establishments open to the public and, as such, to all businesses and shops not affected by the obligation to close.
Throughout Algeria, public houses, leisure, entertainment and show establishments and spaces, and restaurants (except for home delivery) are closed. No indication has yet been given as to what will happen to their employees.
Retail businesses are also closed, with the exception of businesses supplying the population with food, maintenance and hygiene products, as well as pharmaceuticals and personal hygiene products. Such business must maintain their activities subject to the human resources management restrictions set out below.
More generally, an obligation to maintain business is imposed on establishments operating in the following sectors:
At least 50% of the staff of public institutions and administrations, as well as of all public and private economic operators, must be placed on exceptional paid leave. This measure applies to all sectors of activity, even those whose continued activity is made mandatory.
Staff considered as having priority for exceptional leave are pregnant women and women raising children (without this concept being defined), as well as persons suffering from chronic diseases and those with health issues.
Unless otherwise exceptionally authorised by the competent authorities, this obligation does not however apply to staff working in:
This legal update is not intended to be and should not be construed as providing legal advice. The addressee is solely liable for any use of the information contained herein and the Law Firm shall not be held responsible for any damages, direct, indirect or otherwise, arising from the use of the information by the addressee.
>> Click here to read the legal updates of Gide's multidisciplinary taskforce set up to answer all your legal issues relating to Covid-19.