Severity: Warning Alert

Transportation: Chinese officials introduce residential quarantines, reduce transport services in parts of Xinjiang from July 17 over COVID-19 concerns.

  • Alert Begins: 17 Jul 2020 06:35 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 24 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 movement restrictions
  • Location(s): Xinjiang (map)
  • Start Time/Date: July 17
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions, increased security

Authorities have introduced localized controls and transport restrictions in parts of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region from July 17 over coronavirus disease (COVID-19) concerns. The restrictions were imposed after several cases of COVID-19 were discovered in the region's capital city of Urumqi; the cases were the first reported instances of confirmed community transmission in Xinjiang since February. Hundreds of flights into and out of Urumqi Diwopu International Airport (URC) have been canceled. Officials in Urumqi have also suspended public transport services and closed restaurants in the city. Movement controls have also been reported in Kashgar, the largest city in western Xinjiang.

Officials are highly likely to introduce measures effectively closing most public transport and intercity travel in large cities in Xinjiang over the coming days as a precaution. Security personnel have deployed to enforce movement restrictions and conduct temperature and identification checks. The new directives will likely prompt business disruptions throughout Xinjiang in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
Following the initial outbreak in Wuhan, Chinese authorities have been extremely proactive in introducing localized gathering and transport controls in response to COVID-19 cases. Restrictions were imposed in Beijing from mid-June after several dozens cases were discovered in the city. Controls in Beijing gradually began to ease in subsequent weeks, as authorities conducted mass testing to identify and isolate new cases.

Follow all official instructions. Remain polite and nonconfrontational if questioned by security personnel. Avoid crowded areas as a precaution. Stock up on essential supplies. Confirm all travel reservations; consider deferring nonessential travel to and from Xinjiang. Make allowances for likely domestic travel restrictions if operating in the region.

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