Authorities continue to enforce movement restrictions throughout Hubei Province, China, as of March 4. Nonessential traffic prohibited.

Severity: Critical Alert

The locations affected by this alert are:

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

This alert began 04 Mar 2020 08:30 GMT and is scheduled to expire 23 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Preventative restrictions
  • Location(s): Hubei Province (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite as of March 4
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions, increased security, movement restrictions

Summary
Authorities continue to implement strict movement restrictions in Hubei Province to combat an ongoing novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak as of March 4. Officials continue to limit residential movement throughout the province; residents must remain in their homes, and only one person per household is allowed outside every three days to purchase essential goods. Gatherings are prohibited. Authorities have also banned private vehicles from roads throughout the province, with exceptions made for shipments of essential goods. It is unclear how long the transport and movement restrictions will remain in effect; however, relaxation of the measures will depend on the 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. Officials in Xinyang City have warned of penalties - including reduction of social credit - for residents that disobey official orders or attempt to conceal their medical status; similar measures are possible in other cities in the province in the coming days.

Movement and business restrictions will continue to prompt significant transport, business, and supply chain disruptions in central Hubei, and possibly in adjacent areas. Officials have effectively banned nonessential travel from Hubei to neighboring regions. Authorities have deployed additional security forces to the region and nearby communities to enforce the movement restrictions and maintain public order. All businesses, except pharmacies, specially designated supermarkets, farmers' markets, and hotels, remain closed as of March 4.

Several countries are maintaining 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.

Advice
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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