Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials ban travel to and from Da Nang, Vietnam, through Aug. 11 due to COVID-19 outbreak. Business, gathering restrictions imposed.

  • Alert Begins: 27 Jul 2020 07:01 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 11 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Da Nang (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least Aug. 11
  • Impact: Transport restrictions, business disruptions

Summary
Officials have further tightened restrictions in Da Nang, effectively banning travel to and from the city through at least Aug. 11, to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Commercial passenger flights, trains, and long-distance bus services are banned from serving the city. Officials have organized some evacuation flights for domestic travelers to leave the city; individuals who are allowed to leave Da Nang are required to undergo 14-day home quarantines upon arrival at their residences. Trains linking northern and southern Vietnam have continued to operate, though they will pass through Da Nang without stopping in the city. Private vehicles are not allowed to leave Da Nang. Authorities have also suspended ferry services linking the city with nearby islands. Commuter bus services and taxis are not allowed to operate. Authorities said the transport controls, first introduced from 0001 July 28, will continue for 15 days, though extensions of the restrictions are possible.

Prior to announcing long-distance travel restrictions, authorities in Da Nang introduced business and gathering control measures in the city. Authorities have banned festivals, religious events, and sports competitions, and shut nonessential businesses, such as karaoke bars and massage parlors, until further notice. Public gatherings are limited to 30 people. Officials have allowed some businesses, such as food establishments, markets, hotels, and tourist sites, to continue operations; however, workers and customers have to observe health protocols, such as social distancing. People must wear face masks when in public.

Security forces have deployed to enforce the controls. Officials may introduce new restrictions in the coming days and weeks. Authorities could also expand the geographic scope of control measures in response to additional outbreaks.

Background and Analysis
Officials introduced business and transport controls in Da Nang after cases were discovered in the city on July 25; the patients were Vietnam's first reported community transmission cases since April 2020. Vietnam had a significant degree of success in containing its initial outbreak, and Vietnamese authorites are highly likely to enforce proactive movement and gatherings controls to prevent further spread of the disease.

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