Additional movement restrictions imposed throughout Hubei Province, China, from Feb. 17. Nonessential traffic prohibited.

Severity: Critical Alert

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Wuhan, Hubei Province
  • Xiangyang, Hubei Province
  • Shiyan, China

This alert began 16 Feb 2020 18:53 GMT and is scheduled to expire 04 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Movement restrictions
  • Location(s): Hubei Province (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions; increased security; movement restrictions; possible civil unrest

From Feb. 17, authorities are requiring residents throughout Hubei Province to remain in their homes, with only one person per household allowed outside once every three days to purchase essential goods. Authorities have also banned private vehicles from roads throughout the province, with exceptions made for shipments of essential goods. Gatherings are prohibited, and except for pharmacies, along with specially designated supermarkets, farmer's markets, and hotels, all businesses are closed indefinitely. The measures are the strictest and most widespread to date in a series of controls introduced since late January in response to the ongoing 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. It is unclear how long the transport and movement restrictions will remain in effect; however, relaxation of the measures will depend largely on the regional intensity and duration of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Officials throughout Hubei continue to seal off sections of buildings with confirmed cases of COVID-19. Checkpoints are in place at the entrances to communities and on roads throughout the province. Suspected patients exhibiting mild symptoms are not allowed to seek medical help outside their home district; officials will treat or quarantine suspected cases at designated local facilities. In some areas, including Huanggang, Xiaogan, Shiyan's Zhangwan District, and Gucheng County, officials have imposed mandatory 14-day home quarantines on all residents, with government workers delivering food and other daily necessities.

Movement and business restrictions will continue to prompt serious transport, business, and supply chain disruptions in central Hubei, and possibly in adjacent areas. Nonessential travel from Hubei to adjacent areas has been effectively banned. Authorities have deployed additional security forces to the region and nearby communities to enforce the movement restrictions and maintain public order. Localized incidents of civil unrest are possible.

Several countries have issued warnings or advisories against travel to Wuhan and surrounding areas of Hubei Province. Various countries have also evacuated their citizens from Wuhan; additional evacuations may occur in the coming days, though the operations require permission and coordination with Chinese officials.

Avoid travel to Hubei Province until authorities lift movement and transport restrictions. If operating in affected areas, register and maintain contact with your diplomatic mission. Follow all official instructions and remain polite and nonconfrontational if questioned by security personnel. Avoid crowded areas as a precaution. Closely monitor official announcements on any additional movement restrictions. Confirm travel reservations in and around Hubei Province. Stock up on essential supplies whenever possible.

Use basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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