Southeast Asian countries enforce health screenings at international airports, border crossings as of Jan. 31. Immigration delays possible.

Severity: Warning Alert

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Cambodia
  • Myanmar
  • Laos
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Malaysia
  • Indonesia
  • Philippines

This alert began 31 Jan 2020 06:26 GMT and is scheduled to expire 31 Jan 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Increased health screenings
  • Location(s): Southeast Asia (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Longer immigration wait times; possible quarantine measures

Summary
Several countries in Southeast Asia have implemented enhanced health screenings for passengers from China. The precaution follows an increase in reported cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Wuhan, Hubei Province, and other areas in China, along with cases reported in several other Asian countries. Screening measures vary somewhat across the region.

As of Jan. 31, authorities in Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam have implemented mandatory health screenings at international airports for passengers arriving from China. Officials in Singapore will implement temperature screenings on all incoming flights and at border checkpoints with Malaysia. Health officials have also enforced screenings on land border crossings in parts of Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Quarantine measures may be imposed for up to two weeks if an infection is suspected.

Additionally, there have been travel restrictions in the following countries:

  • Brunei: Officials have suspended access to Hubei residents. The restrictions also apply to all travelers who have visited Hubei in the last 14 days, except for Bruneian citizens and permanent residents.
  • Malaysia: Authorities have stopped granting visas for Hubei residents and all visitors who have been in Hubei in the last 14 days.
  • Philippines: Officials have suspended the country's visa-on-arrival system for Chinese travelers, though they can still enter the country.
  • Singapore: Immigration authorities will deny entry to all new visitors who have visited Hubei in the past 14 days, as well as all travelers with passports issued in Hubei.
  • Vietnam: Authorities have stopped giving visas to Chinese nationals from the country's infected areas, except in emergency cases.


Additional countries could announce enhanced health screenings or expand their response in the coming days. The measures are unlikely to impact most travelers but may lead to immigration delays, especially for passengers from China.

Advice
Follow all official immigration and health screening instructions. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings. Consider delaying traveling 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.