Authorities in Kazakhstan and Russia close some overland border crossings with China Jan. 28 over coronavirus concerns. Confirm travel.

Severity: Warning Alert

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Almaty
  • Vladivostok, Primorsky Kray
  • Blagoveshchensk, Amur Oblast'

This alert began 28 Jan 2020 12:01 GMT and is scheduled to expire 28 Jan 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Kazakhstan and Russia border crossings with China (map)
  • Time Frame: From Jan. 28
  • Impact: Cross-border travel restrictions; possible transport, business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Kazakhstan and Russia have taken steps to contain the spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) from China. Kazakh officials have closed the Khorgos border crossing to vehicles, trains, and pedestrians until Feb. 15. In Russia, authorities have closed the Blagoveshchensk-Heihe border crossing, in the Amur Oblast, and all border crossings with China in the Primorsky Krai until at least Feb. 1. Affected border checkpoints in Primorsky include Kraskino, Pogranichny, Poltavka, and Turiy Rog. The closure will impact vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

Several other border crossings on both the China-Kazakhstan border and the China-Russia border remain open as of Jan. 28. Increased congestion is possible at open border crossings due to the stated closure of several major border checkpoints.

Authorities may announce further border restrictions in the coming weeks in response to the outbreak in China. The border closures will likely cause localized transport and delivery disruptions and delays, as freight operators could divert shipping routes through alternative border checkpoints. Increased traffic congestion is possible near the affected border checkpoints after they resume operations.

Authorities in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are yet to introduce potentially disruptive coronavirus-related travel restrictions. However, such measures are possible as the response to the threat evolves.

Advice
Allow additional time for travel and consider alternative routes if planning to drive or route freight through the affected border checkpoints. Plan for possible freight delivery delays for the duration of the closures.