Iraq bars entry to Iranian nationals from Feb. 20 until further notice. Additional travel restrictions possible.

Severity: Informational Alert

This alert began 20 Feb 2020 23:11 GMT and is scheduled to expire 24 Feb 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Start Time/Date: Feb. 20
  • Impact: Entry restrictions; health screenings; likely increased immigration wait times

The Iraqi Health Ministry announced that Iranian nationals will be barred from entering Iraq from Feb. 20 until further notice and that Iraqi citizens will be forbidden from travel to Iran. Only Iraqi citizens returning from Iran will be permitted to enter. These individuals will be subjected to health screenings and may be quarantined for a period of 14 days. Iraqi authorities have suspended visa issuance to Iranian citizens. Iraq's Maysan Governorate has closed its border with Iran.

The travel restrictions comes a day after Iranian officials confirmed the deaths of two individuals from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the city of Qom. The purpose of the restrictions is to prevent the spread of the disease. The World Health Organization has declared the ongoing outbreak of the virus to be a global health emergency. COVID-19 originated in China's Wuhan City in Hubei Province.

Individuals affected by the restrictions should postpone planned travel. Follow all official immigration and health screening instructions. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. 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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