Severity: Warning Alert

Transportation: Authorities easing COVID-19 restrictions in Xinjiang, China, as of Sept. 8. Social distancing measures likely to continue.

Alert Begins 08 Sep 2020 07:30 AM UTC
Alert Expires 10 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 movement restrictions
  • Location(s): Xinjiang, especially Urumqi (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions, increased security

Summary
Authorities in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region have begun to ease restrictions after reportedly clearing all reported cases of COVID-19. Primary and secondary schools have reopened for in-person lessons; college and university students will return to classes in stages from Sept. 10. Officials have also reopened some outdoor tourist destinations, with social distancing measures in place. In the capital Urumqi, officials have lowered the designations for Tianshan and Shayibake districts to low risk; as of Sept. 8, there are no high- or medium-risk areas in the region. Businesses are starting to resume, though operating hours may remain restricted. Some nonessential businesses will probably remain closed. Bus services have also resumed in the city. However, large gatherings remain banned. Temperature and identification checks will continue in urban areas and along key ground transport routes.

The government has allowed transport within Xinjiang to resume. Inter-provincial tour travel is slated to begin from Sept. 16. Direct flights from Urumqi and other main cities in Xinjiang have restarted. Xinjiang officials have ended requirements for inbound passengers to take a nucleic acid COVID-19 test before entry and undergo quarantine; temperature checks and health codes are now sufficient for entry. Most Chinese cities required travelers from Urumqi to undergo 14-day quarantine periods upon arrival; however, local officials will probably phase out such measures in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
Chinese authorities continue to respond to new COVID-19 outbreaks in the country proactively. Officials typically quickly introduce localized gathering, movement, and transport controls following reports of new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases. Mass testing, as well as nonessential business and cultural and tourism site closures, are also likely in areas where an outbreak occurs.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Remain polite and nonconfrontational if questioned by security personnel. Avoid crowded areas as a precaution. Confirm all travel reservations. Make allowances for potential temperature checks and travel delays if operating in the region.


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