Chinese officials restrict outbound travel from Wuhan indefinitely from 1000 Jan. 23. Significant transport and business disruptions likely.

Severity: Critical Alert

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This alert began 22 Jan 2020 21:16 GMT and is scheduled to expire 31 Jan 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Outbound travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Wuhan 
  • Start Time/Date: 1000 Jan. 23
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions; increased security measures; possible civil unrest

Authorities in Wuhan have announced that all outbound rail, long-distance bus, air, and ferry travel from the city will be prohibited indefinitely from 1000 Jan. 23. Additionally, all public transportation within the city, including buses and subways, will be closed indefinitely. The measures are to prevent the further spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Authorities have also instructed city residents to remain within Wuhan and avoid crowded areas as a precaution. It remains unclear how long the transport and movement restrictions will remain in effect; however, relaxation of the mandate will likely depend on the intensity and duration of the 2019 Novel Noronavirus outbreak.

Official restrictions will prompt significant transport, business, and supply chain disruptions in Wuhan, and possibly in adjacent areas. Authorities will likely deploy additional security forces to the city and nearby communities to enforce the movement restrictions. Localized incidents of civil unrest are possible.

Follow all official instructions. Remain polite and nonconfrontational if questioned by security personnel. Avoid crowded areas as a precaution. Stock up on essential supplies whenever possible. Confirm travel reservations in and around Wuhan. If possible, postpone travel to the city until authorities lift movement restrictions.

Emphasize 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.