Officials restrict movement, transport in Taizhou and Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, from Feb. 3. Additional restrictions possible.

Severity: Warning Alert

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province
  • Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province
  • Ningbo, Zhejiang Province
  • Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province

This alert began 03 Feb 2020 16:53 GMT and is scheduled to expire 10 Feb 2020 23:59 GMT.

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

Summary
Authorities have effectively shut down Wenzhou and Taizhou in Zhejiang Province from Feb. 3 to help contain the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Under the new restrictions, authorities in both cities are limiting movement to one person per household every two days to facilitate purchases of essential goods. Authorities are also imposing restrictions on inbound and outbound transportation in Wenzhou and Taizhou. It is unclear how long the restrictions will remain in force in Taizhou. Government offices in Wenzhou will stay closed until Feb. 9, but authorities have advised the private sector not to resume work until at least Feb. 17. Schools in Wenzhou will remain closed through at least March 1. Officials may extend movement and business restrictions to other locations in Zhejiang Province in the coming days based on the intensity and duration of the 2019-nCoV outbreak in the region.

Restrictions will prompt significant transport, business, and supply chain disruptions in Wenzhou, Taizhou, and adjacent areas. Officials have closed numerous highways in the cities; security personnel are conducting temperature and identification checks on roads that remain open. Wenzhou and Taizhou have suspended interprovincial bus transport and halted most public transport services in the cities. 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.

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 in and around Wenzhou and Taizhou. If possible, postpone travel to the two cities 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.