Chinese officials extend movement controls to additional areas from Feb. 4. Normal business operations to restart no sooner than Feb. 10.

Severity: Critical Alert

This alert began 04 Feb 2020 18:55 GMT and is scheduled to expire 11 Feb 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Precautionary transport, movement, and gathering restrictions
  • Location(s): Mainland China (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business disruptions, transport disruptions; likely supply chain interruptions

Summary
As of Feb. 4, officials have extended movement restrictions to additional areas in mainland China to prevent the spread of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Authorities continue to impose stringent restrictions effectively banning all outbound travel from Hubei Province. Additionally, officials in several locations outside of Hubei Province are requiring residents to remain in their homes, and limiting movement in public to one person per household once every two days to facilitate purchases of essential goods. Officials have implemented such restrictions in: Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province; Huaibei, Chizhou, and Fuyang in Anhui Province; Handan and Xingtai in Hebei Province; Binzhou and Dezhou in Shandong Province; Fuzhou in Fujian Province; Nantong in Jiangsu Province; Zunyi in Guizhou Province; Harbin in Heilongjiang Province; Hangzhou, Ningbo, Taizhou, and Wenzhou in Zhejiang Province; Hohhot and Ulanqab in Inner Mongolia; and Guigang in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Some restrictions on inbound and outbound ground transportation are also in force in the areas mentioned above. Authorities have made exemptions workers in key sectors, such as goods transport, security, healthcare, and food production. Similar movement restrictions are highly likely to be implemented in additional areas over the coming days and possibly weeks. The duration, geographic range, and severity of movement restrictions will likely depend on the extent of the 2019-nCoV outbreak in various areas.

Officials across mainland China have suspended the operation of most tourism, leisure, and religious gathering venues, along with implementing mandatory temperature checks and other health screenings at transportation hubs, college campuses, and highway toll booths. Health screenings are increasing passenger clearance times at airports, train stations, and subway stations. Authorities have also imposed long-distance ground transport restrictions in some regions.

Officials in most cities and provinces plan to restart operations at nonessential industries no sooner than Feb. 10. Schools are indefinitely delaying their reopenings following the Chinese New Year holiday period. Numerous businesses throughout the country are restricting operating hours and implementing work-from-home policies. Most cities have implemented regulations requiring people to wear face masks in public. Major supply chain disruptions are likely if authorities further extend movement and business restrictions. Authorities will continue deploying additional security forces to enforce localized movement restrictions and other precautionary measures. Incidents of civil unrest are possible.

Several national governments, including those of the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Turkey, have advised citizens to postpone nonessential travel to all parts of mainland China due to concerns about the 2019-nCoV outbreak and associated movement restrictions. Many governments have also indefinitely banned Chinese nationals and/or foreign nationals who have recently visited mainland China from entering their countries. Many international airlines have suspended services to and from China due to health concerns and significantly decreased demand.

Advice
Consider postponing nonessential travel to mainland China due to the possibility of additional internal and international movement controls. Follow all official instructions and closely monitor official announcements on any additional precautionary restrictions. To the extent possible, avoid crowded areas as a precaution. Confirm all travel and business reservations. Allow additional travel time for screenings at airports, train stations, and other transport hubs. Make allowances for likely supply chain and other business disruptions.

Exercise 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 or antibiotic medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.