Several South Pacific nations, territories enhancing health screenings, imposing travel restriction due to 2019 novel coronavirus activity.

Severity: Warning Alert

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • American Samoa
  • Fiji
  • French Polynesia
  • Guam
  • Marshall Islands
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Palau
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tonga
  • Vanuatu
  • Wallis and Futuna

This alert began 03 Feb 2020 12:30 GMT and is scheduled to expire 04 Feb 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Increased health screenings, transport restrictions
  • Location(s): South Pacific (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Longer immigration wait times; possible quarantine measures

Summary
Several countries and territories in the Pacific region have implemented enhanced health screenings or restricted travel for some passengers from mainland China and other countries in East Asia due to 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) activity. Screening measures vary across the region. As of Feb. 3, the following restrictions are in place:

  • American Samoa: The government extended an ongoing state of emergency to include measures to combat the potential spread of 2019-nCoV Jan. 30. US and Samoan passengers traveling from countries with confirmed 2019-nCoV activity need to remain in a third country for 14 days and obtain a health clearance before entry into the territory. Foreign nationals are also required to fly through Hawaii and receive a health clearance before traveling to the territory.
  • Federated States of Micronesia: Officials have banned all passengers from China. Travelers from other countries with confirmed 2019-nCoV cases will have to visit a third-party country with no 2019-nCoV activity for 14 days before entry into the country.
  • Fiji: As of Feb. 2, the government has banned all passengers who have traveled to mainland China within 14 days of arrival.
  • French Polynesia: Authorities are requiring health certification that passengers do not have any viral activity before boarding flights in Asia, including flights originating in Japan and New Zealand.
  • Guam: As of the morning of Feb. 3, officials are banning passengers who traveled in mainland China within 14 days of arrival.
  • Northern Mariana Islands: Authorities have banned passengers who traveled in mainland China within 14 days of arrival.
  • Marshall Islands: Officials have banned all travel to mainland China. As of Feb. 2, authorities have expanded a ban on direct travel from mainland China to include Hong Kong and Macau.
  • Palau: Charter flights from China, including from Hong Kong and Maca, are suspended.
  • Samoa: Passengers from countries with confirmed 2019-nCoV cases will have to visit a country with no 2019-nCoV activity for 14 days before entry into the country. Health screenings are occurring at all points of entry.
  • Solomon Islands: Travelers from countries with confirmed 2019-nCoV cases will have to visit a country with no 2019-nCoV activity for 14 days before entry into the country.
  • Tonga: Officials require health declaration forms upon entry.
  • Vanuatu: Authorities require a health clearance form before boarding flights from mainland China. Passengers without the declaration could face quarantine or have to return to their point of origin at their own cost.
  • Wallis and Futuna: Authorities are using a thermal scanner to screen arriving passengers.


Countries and territories could expand their response in the coming days, particularly if cases are discovered in the region.

Advice
Follow all official immigration and health screening instructions, particularly if traveling from countries with 2019-nCoV activity. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings at all ports of entry. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with 2019-nCoV, 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.