Officials restrict movement, transport in Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China, through Feb. 8 over health concerns. Significant disruptions likely.

Severity: Critical Alert

This alert began 03 Feb 2020 08:20 GMT and is scheduled to expire 08 Feb 2020 16:00 GMT.

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

Authorities have effectively shut down Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, through Feb. 8 to help contain the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Under the new restrictions, authorities will limit movement to one person per household in Wenzhou every two days. Government offices will stay closed until Feb. 9, but the government has advised the private sector not to resume work through at least Feb. 17. Schools in the municipality will remain closed through at least March 1. Officials previously closed entertainment and public venues to help prevent the spread of the virus. Although the restrictions are in place through Feb. 8, Wenzhou officials could relax or extend the measures based on the intensity and duration of the 2019-nCoV outbreak in the city.

Restrictions will prompt significant transport, business, and supply chain disruptions in Wenzhou and adjacent areas. Officials have reportedly closed 46 highways in the city; witness accounts suggest that security personnel are conducting temperature and identification checks on roads that remain open. Wenzhou has suspended interprovincial bus transport and halted most public transport services in the city. It remains unclear if or how the restrictions will impact operations at the Port of Wenzhou, but significant disruptions are possible. Authorities will almost certainly deploy additional security forces to the city and nearby communities to enforce the movement restrictions.

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 in and around Wenzhou. If possible, postpone travel to the city 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.