Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Mongolia extends international flight suspension through May 31 due to COVID-19. Border closures, domestic measures likely to continue.

This alert affects Mongolia

This alert began 28 Apr 2020 11:34 GMT and is scheduled to expire 31 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

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

Summary
Mongolian authorities have extended measures to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) through at least May 31. The government will continue to ban international flights and rail passenger transport. Officials will also maintain restrictions at border crossings with China, while the Altanbulag and Tsagaannuur border crossings with Russia remain closed. Officials have canceled public events nationwide, and schools remain closed through at least April 30.

Officials in Ulaanbaatar continue to enforce more stringent measures, such as the closure of nonessential businesses, as of April 28. Residents of the capital are also required to register with local authorities before leaving the city. Authorities have previously shut down inbound travel to Ulaanbaatar and some other provinces following reported COVID-19 cases, and additional ground transport disruptions remain possible. Officials could erect checkpoints on main interprovincial roads and halt interprovincial rail transport without notice.

The country has recommenced coal exports to China through the Gashuun Sukhait and Zamyn-Uud border crossings; however, coal exports through other border crossings remain suspended. Supply chain disruptions for goods coming from and going to China remain possible for the duration of the restrictions.

Travel Restrictions
An effective ban on most foreign nationals remains in place. Officials are placing arriving Mongolian citizens who have recently traveled in China, Japan, South Korea, Italy, or Iran under a 21-day quarantine at their own expense. Mongolian nationals are barred from traveling to Russia through at least April 30, while a travel ban for residents to China remains in effect.

Background and Analysis
The measures adopted by the government correspond with similar actions taken by other regional governments in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19. 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. 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. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

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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