Officials restrict movement, transport in major cities throughout Zhejiang Province, China, from Feb. 3. Significant disruptions likely.

Severity: Critical Alert

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Shanghai
  • Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province
  • Suzhou, Jiangsu Province
  • Fuzhou, Fujian Province
  • Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province
  • Ningbo, Zhejiang Province
  • Wuxi, Jiangsu Province
  • Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province

This alert began 03 Feb 2020 20:15 GMT and is scheduled to expire 10 Feb 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Transport, movement restrictions
  • Location(s): Zhejiang Province (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least Feb. 8
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions; increased security; possible civil unrest

Summary
Authorities have extended precautionary measures to effectively shut down transport operations in major cities throughout Zhejiang Province from Feb. 3 to help contain the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Tight movement restrictions were first imposed in Wenzhou from Feb. 2; officials subsequently announced restrictions in Taizhou, and then the districts of Xihu, Yuhang and Gongshu in Hangzhou, along with Ninbgo's Haishu, Yinzhou, and Beilun districts. Authorities in the affected areas are limiting movement to one person per household every two days to facilitate purchases of essential goods. Officials are also imposing restrictions on inbound and outbound ground transportation. Exemptions have been made for workers in key sectors, such as goods transport, security, healthcare, and food production.

Movement restrictions in Hangzhou, Wenzhou, and Ningbo are scheduled to last until at least Feb. 8. It is unclear how long the restrictions will remain in force in Taizhou. In the coming days officials may further extend movement and business restrictions to other locations within Zhejiang, and possibly nearby locations in adjacent provinces, based on the intensity and duration of the 2019-nCoV outbreak in the region.

Significant transport, business, and supply chain disruptions are likely in Zhejiang Province for the duration of the restrictions. Officials have closed numerous highways in the province; security personnel are conducting temperature and identification checks on roads that remain open. Affected cities have suspended interprovincial bus transport and halted most public transport services. Flights at regional airports, including those serving Hangzhou (HGH), Ningbo (NGB), and Wenzhou (WNZ), may be canceled in the coming days. It remains unclear if or how the restrictions will impact operations at port facilities in the region, but significant disruptions are likely. Authorities will almost certainly continue deploying additional security forces to the affected cities and nearby communities to enforce the movement restrictions. Localized incidents of civil unrest are possible.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Remain polite and nonconfrontational if questioned by security personnel. Avoid crowded areas as a precaution. Stock up on essential supplies whenever possible. Confirm travel reservations throughout Zhejiang Province. If possible, postpone travel to the province until authorities lift movement restrictions.

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.