Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Mongolia extends alert level, entry ban through Oct. 31 due to COVID-19. Business controls eased from Sept. 16. Schools to resume Sept. 21.

Alert Begins 14 Sep 2020 10:17 AM UTC
Alert Expires 31 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: International travel restrictions, transport and business disruptions; possible movement controls

Summary
Mongolia has extended a high alert through at least Oct. 31 to curb coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmission. Officials continue to ban international commercial flights and rail passenger transport. However, the government is arranging charter flights to and from select locations. Authorities will maintain restrictions at border crossings with China and the Altanbulag and Tsagaannuur border crossings with Russia. The government requires people to wear protective face coverings in public and continues to ban demonstrations nationwide.

The government will further ease domestic controls. More businesses - including factories - service organizations, and art and sporting events can resume from Sept. 16. In-class learning will resume at kindergartens, schools, and universities nationwide from Sept. 21. In Ulaanbaatar, nonessential businesses have reopened, but limits on operating hours could continue. Owners must require patrons to wear protective facemasks and conduct temperature screenings of customers.

The Ulaanbaatar government requires residents to register with local authorities before leaving the city. Authorities have previously shut down inbound travel to the capital and some other provinces following reported COVID-19 cases, and additional domestic ground transport controls remain possible if new COVID-19 activity emerges. Officials could erect checkpoints on main interprovincial roads and halt interprovincial rail transport without notice.

Coal exports to China have resumed through the Gashuun Sukhait and Zamyn-Uud border crossings. Congestion at border checkpoints and supply chain disruptions for trade with China are possible.

Travel Restrictions
An effective ban on most foreign nationals remains in place. Officials have arranged repatriation flights and trains from some countries, though pregnant women, senior citizens, parents with children, and citizens with health complications will receive priority. All arriving Mongolian citizens must undergo a 21-day quarantine at their own expense; however, officials have lifted a requirement for an additional 14 days of self-quarantine. Repatriation efforts are staggered due to limited isolation facilities.

Background and Analysis
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Postpone travel to Mongolia if affected by travel restrictions. Register with your diplomatic mission if attempting to depart Mongolia. Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.

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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