This brief – part of several COVID-19 response efforts – provides initial suggestions to help policymakers in African contexts design and implement social distancing measures. We offer specific suggestions for social distancing policies that governments can implement at three different levels: 1) community 2) businesses (including transportation and markets), 3) households.
RK Flowers, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Policy brief: evidence-informed social distancing policies for African countries - 538 KB
Where possible, this brief recommends approaches that have minimal or short-term economic repercussions with significant public health gains. However, it is important to acknowledge that some types of prolonged social distancing will require significant personal and economic consequences for many people. Furthermore, given the diversity across African countries, it is impossible to generalize measures that will work perfectly in all contexts. This is why we also chose to provide guidance for decision-makers on how they can ground social distancing policies in local contexts, communicate these guidelines effectively to the public, and begin to consider mitigating some of the long-term negative impacts. In all of these recommendations, this brief draws on lessons learned and evidence from past and current outbreaks and epidemics, while recognizing that COVID-19 is aggressive in how fast it spreads, its relatively high morbidity rate, and its global reach.
This evidence-based policy brief should be considered a working and living document. We welcome your comments, feedback, examples, and reflections.
28 April 2020
1 April 2021
6 May 2019
3 September 2020