Severity: Warning Alert

Transportation: Chinese officials ease business controls in Ruili from Sept. 21. Restrictions on inter-city travel to remain in place through Oct. 10.

Alert Begins 21 Sep 2020 06:10 PM UTC
Alert Expires 10 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 movement restrictions
  • Location(s): Ruili, Yunnan Province (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least Oct. 10
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions, increased security

Authorities have eased business and gathering restrictions in Ruili, Yunnan Province, after determining that three newly discovered cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) had been imported from abroad. As of Sept. 21, Ruili residents are no longer required to stay inside their homes, and most nonessential businesses have been authorized to reopen. Movie theaters, bars, and internet cafes will remain closed until further notice. Schools will resume in-person classes from Sept. 26.

Long-distance travel restrictions will remain in effect in the city through at least Oct. 10. Negative coronavirus disease test results are required to travel outside Ruili. Individuals from out-of-town may only enter the city for essential reasons. Border checkpoints with Myanmar remain closed.

Officials have deployed additional security and emergency response personnel to enforce travel restrictions and the border closure.

Background and Analysis
Officials imposed strict movement and gathering controls in Ruili from Sept. 15 after three COVID-19 cases were discovered in the city. Following mass testing in the area, authorities determined that the cases were imported from Myanmar, which shares a porous border with western Yunnan. Myanmar has been experiencing a significant increase in COVID-19 cases since early September. Ruili is located approximately 390 km (242 miles) southwest of Lijiang, Sichuan Province, and 470 km (292 miles) west-southwest of Kunming, Yunnan's provincial capital.

Follow all official instructions. Remain polite and nonconfrontational if questioned by security personnel. Confirm travel reservations in western areas of Yunnan Province as a precaution.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). 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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