Mongolia has extended its existing nationwide high alert level through at least Dec. 31 to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Under the high alert, a number of movement restrictions are in effect, including a ban on international commercial flights and rail passenger transport. The government continues to only allow nationals and permanent residents into the country via repatriation flights or land border checkpoints.
While strict international travel controls are set to continue, authorities have relaxed some domestic restrictions on business and gatherings. In-class learning has resumed at schools and universities nationwide. Authorities allow many commercial establishments - including factories and service organizations - to operate; arts and sporting events are also permitted. However, authorities still require all persons to wear facemasks in public, and demonstrations remain banned nationwide.
The Ulaanbaatar municipal government requires residents to register with local authorities before leaving the city. Authorities have previously shut down inbound travel to the capital and some provinces following reported COVID-19 cases; further 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.
An effective ban on entry into the country by most foreign nationals remains in place. Officials have arranged repatriation flights and trains for citizens, with pregnant women, senior citizens, parents with children, and citizens with health complications receiving priority for returning to Mongolia. Repatriation efforts are staggered due to limited quarantine facilities. All arriving Mongolian citizens must undergo a 21-day quarantine at their own expense. Authorities are maintaining passenger restrictions at border crossings with China and the Altanbulag and Tsagaannuur border crossings with Russia. Cross-border freight shipments are operational.
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.