US - Travel Restrictions - Nationwide
Reed & Mackay Travel Update Service 21 November 2020, 7:11 AM
Incident: COVID-19 travel restrictions
Location(s): Nationwide (map)
Time Frame: Indefinite
Impact: Business and transport disruptions
US authorities have extended the closure of the nation's land borders with Canada and Mexico to all nonessential travel through at least Dec. 21 as part of efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The closures,Ffacem initially implemented on March 21, do not affect trade, movement of essential goods and workers, transport of food or medicine, or transit by cargo trucks. US citizens and legal residents returning to the country, as well as individuals traveling to attend educational institutions, are exempt from the ongoing border closures.
Other restrictions remain in place. US authorities continue to ban entry to most nonresident foreign nationals who have been in Brazil, China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), Iran, UK, Ireland, and the European Schengen Area within the previous 14 days. US citizens and legal residents who have traveled to a country on the restricted list within 14 days prior to their return are allowed to enter but are urged to limit contact with people from outside their households upon arrival in the US.
Previously, US authorities have added exceptions for nonresident foreign nationals entering from the Schengen Area, UK, or Ireland to enter the US. Business travelers, students, investors, academics, and journalists, among others, may qualify for a national interest exception but must contact US diplomatic offices in order to apply.
The government in Washington continues to advise US residents to avoid nonessential travel to most countries in the world due to COVID-19 concerns. As of Nov. 20, US authorities consider only 36 countries and territories worldwide to have moderate, low, or very low-risk of COVID-19, including New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Mongolia, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Laos, New Caledonia, and Taiwan; there are no governmental advisories against travel to designated moderate, low, or very low-risk destinations, except for persons having special risk factors. Travelers returning from all other locations are urged to remain at home as much as possible, wear protective face coverings, and practice social distancing.
Authorities advise residents nationwide to avoid gatherings and crowded places, maintain a distance of at least 1.8 meters (six feet) from others when in public, and wear protective facemasks that cover the mouth and nose. Persons 65 years of age or older and those with underlying health conditions are advised to remain at home whenever possible.
State and local authorities have taken measures stricter than those at the federal level. Several states have imposed additional travel restrictions, including for travelers entering from other US states, which in many cases involve a 14-day self-quarantine or proof of having tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of arrival into a new state. Most states have some limitations on business activities, and many of them have further tightened the restrictions in mid-November due to increases in COVID-19 activity.
Authorities at the federal or local levels could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
Background and Analysis
The measures implemented by the US government are similar to actions taken by other governments globally in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands).
WHO Coronavirus Knowledge Base
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - COVID-19 Updates
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Travel Guidelines
US Department of State - Bureau of Consular Affairs
Australia - Restrictions - New South Wales
Reed & Mackay Travel Update Service 20 November 2020, 6:21 AM
Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
Location(s): New South Wales (map)
Time Frame: Indefinite
Impact: Border restrictions with Victoria, transport disruptions, increased security, limited business restrictions, quarantine requirements
The New South Wales (NSW) government continues to gradually ease restrictions amid reduced coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity in Australia. The state is primarily following the federal government's Step-3 guidelines, but authorities will ease some gathering and density restrictions from Nov. 23. The government will permit outdoor ticketed events of up to 3,000 people, and outdoor religious services can occur with up to 500 people. Officials require organizers to reduce density to one person per two square meters (21 square feet) at events with assigned seating and one person per four square meters (43 square feet) without arranged seating. The government will also allow choirs of up to 30 members to perform.
Other statewide restrictions remain in effect. Groups are limited to 20 people for home visits. Most nonessential businesses must follow the four-square meter rule. Hospitality businesses can follow two square meter rules in outdoor areas, provided they obtain and keep contract details electronically. Weddings are limited to a maximum of 150 people, while up to 300 people can attend funerals and corporate events. Capacity limits do not apply to transport hubs, hospitals, courts, supermarkets, schools, hotel accommodations, and commercial operations, including office buildings, factories, warehouses, and mining and construction sites, among others. Officials continue to require employees to work from home, if feasible.
Authorities encourage residents to wear protective face coverings in indoor public areas where social distancing is impractical, especially public transport. Despite the recommendations, currently, there is no mask mandate in the state. Officials also suggest people who have visited any establishments with reported COVID-19 cases self-quarantine for 14 days and get tested, even if asymptomatic.
Domestic Border Controls
NSW is banning entry for people who have visited "areas of concern" in South Australia as of Nov. 20. Affected New South Wales residents are still permitted to enter the state but must get a COVID-19 test and self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival. Authorities will also exempt travelers strictly transiting the state from the ban. All travelers from South Australia must complete an entry declaration form at least 24 hours before arrival.
New South Wales will lift border restrictions with Victoria from 0001 Nov. 23. As of Nov. 20, officials allow people transiting Victoria to enter New South Wales, provided they strictly transit the state and apply for a transit permit. Residents of border communities in Victoria can travel within the established 50-km (31-mile) border region for any reason. NSW residents entering Victoria must stay within the border region or face quarantine. NSW residents returning from Victoria can enter the state with an entry permit but must self-isolate upon return or provide official documentation of a completed 14-day quarantine in Victoria. Hundreds of security personnel are present at the border and monitoring the area with surveillance equipment. Travelers violating the orders could receive fines of up to AUD 11,000 (USD 7,660) and face up to six months in jail.
International Quarantine Requirements
Most travelers entering Australia must quarantine in government-designated facilities for 14 days in the city of arrival. New Zealand residents can enter New South Wales without quarantine. The New South Wales government charges all travelers required to quarantine to pay at the end of the period. Quarantine fees are AUD 3,000 (USD 2,130) for the first adult, AUD 1,000 (USD 710) per additional adult, and AUD 355 per child; the government does not charge fees for children under three years old. Travelers who purchased tickets with a confirmed arrival date before 2359 July 12 are exempt from payment. Authorities require quarantined travelers to take a COVID-19 test on the 10th day of quarantine. Refusal to take tests will result in an additional 10 days in quarantine.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by government health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Plan for transport disruptions and delivery delays between Victoria and New South Wales. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.
Switzerland - Restrictions - Nationwide Upd. 19
Reed & Mackay Travel Update Service 20 November 2020, 6:13 PM
Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
Location(s): Nationwide (map)
Time Frame: Indefinite
Impact: Travel and business disruptions
Authorities in Switzerland are updating the list of countries from which arrivals must self-isolate for 10 days as part of measures put in place to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Effective Nov. 23, only travelers arriving from Andorra, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Montenegro, French overseas territories, and the Austrian states of Salzburg and Upper Austria are subject to this requirement. This measure does not apply to transit travelers who have spent fewer than 24 hours in a high-risk country or territory. Travelers will not be allowed to shorten their self-quarantine if they receive a negative COVID-19 test result during the 10-day period. Other permitted travelers may enter without restrictions.
In most circumstances, only citizens and residents of EEA countries, as well as those of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Uruguay, and the UK, are permitted to enter the country unless traveling from areas with specific entry restrictions.
Authorities previously tightened certain domestic COVID-19 related restrictions; the following measures are currently in place:
- Bars and restaurants must close at 2300; a maximum of 4 people may sit at the same table. Discos and nightclubs will be closed.
- All public events, except for demonstrations, are limited to 50 people; sporting or cultural leisure activities are limited to 15 people.
- Private gatherings are limited to 10 people.
- Facemasks must be worn in outdoor areas of facilities and businesses, as well as busy pedestrian streets, in addition to all enclosed public spaces, and on public transportation.
- All universities switched to online teaching as of Nov. 2.
Authorities also announced that they will extend the duration of short-term work compensation to 18 months; this was previously capped at 12 months.
Most activities and businesses are operating, provided social distancing and hygiene requirements are implemented. Social distancing standards of 1.5 meters (5 feet) between members of different households are in effect.
Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.
Emphasize 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 medicines will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.
Singapore - Restrictions - Nationwide
Reed & Mackay Travel Update Service 21 November 2020, 7:21 AM
Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
Location(s): Nationwide (map)
Time Frame: Indefinite
Impact: Transport restrictions, enhanced health screenings, quarantine measures, business disruptions
Singapore is marginally tightening border controls amid ongoing efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). From 2359 Nov. 22, all arrivals from Japan and Malaysia will be required to undergo stay-at-home notices (SHN) for 14 days at government-designated premises. The measure applies to people arriving directly from Japan and Malaysia, as well as anyone with recent travel history in the two countries. From 2359 Nov. 27, arrivals with recent travel history in Malaysia, except for Singaporean citizens and permanent residents, must test negative for COVID-19 not more than 72 hours before departing to Singapore.
Some domestic gathering controls continue. Employees can work on-site for up to half of their working hours daily; a maximum of 50 percent of staff may be present at the workplace at a given time. Other rules, such as spacing work stations one meter apart from each other, remain in place. Authorities encourage companies to stagger working hours. Essential services, including medical and food retailers, can continue operating on-site with full staff capacity. The government allows weddings and religious events at most places of worship to host up to 100 people, with safeguards such as dividing the attendees into multiple zones of up to 50 people each.
The government maintains its Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) at Orange, the second-highest level, indicating some human-to-human transmission in the country. Authorities continue to require people to practice health protocols, including wearing facemasks in public. Most social gatherings remain capped at five people. Schools, retail stores, shopping centers, and select tourist sites are open with safeguards in place, while food establishments can serve dine-in customers. Officials have lifted entry restrictions to several popular wet markets. Foreign workers staying in dormitories must download the TraceTogether application and FWMOMCare health monitoring application.
The Johor Causeway, which links Singapore to Malaysia, is open 0700-1900 daily. State carrier Singapore Airlines (SQ) and its subsidiaries, Scoot (TR) and SilkAir (MI), continue to suspend most flights but plan to resume operations to several locations gradually. Singapore-based airline JetStar Asia Airways (3K) has resumed some routes. Foreigners flying with SQ, TR, and MI from select cities can transit via Singapore Changi Airport (SIN).
Officials continue to ban entry of short-term visa holders, including work pass holders who do not provide essential services, with exceptions. Long-term visit pass and student pass holders must apply for official approval before traveling to Singapore. Incoming passengers must submit online health declarations up to three days before arrival. Foreign nationals traveling from most locations must test negative for COVID-19 not more than 72 hours before the trip. Foreigners traveling from locations that officials consider to be lower-risk, like Australia, Brunei, mainland China, New Zealand, and Vietnam, do not need to take tests in advance, but are instead tested upon arrival in Singapore.
Arrivals from most countries must serve their SHN for 14 days at government-designated premises. Travelers who spent the previous two weeks in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan can serve a seven-day SHN in their residences. Travelers must test negative for COVID-19 at the end of their SHN before they can leave the SHN facilities. Arrivals from Fiji, Finland, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Turkey can serve SHN at their residence for two weeks if they fulfill specific requirements. The travelers must have spent the previous 14 days in the aforementioned locations and must serve their SHN at the accommodation alone or with other travelers with the same travel history.
Authorities allow entry for travelers from Australia, Brunei, mainland China, New Zealand, and Vietnam, due to low COVID-19 activity in the locations. Under the policy, passengers must have remained in the mentioned locations for the last 14 consecutive days before entry, register online on the Safe Travel portal at least seven days before entry, and self-isolate until results from an on-arrival COVID-19 test are ready. Travelers who test negative are exempt from the typical compulsory SHN requirement for arrivals, though they must still use the TraceTogether application for contact tracing purposes.
Starting Nov. 22, individuals traveling to and from Hong Kong, for both business and leisure, may be exempt from quarantine requirements. However, such individuals must test negative for COVID-19 not more than 72 hours before the trip, apply for air travel passes, and use TraceTogether contact tracing application upon return. Officials may suspend the scheme if either Hong Kong or Singapore records more than five cases on a seven-day moving average. Authorities in Hong Kong reported 26 COVID-19 cases Nov. 20; officials may therefore cancel or postpone the planned Singapore/Hong Kong "travel bubble" at short notice.
Arrangements for cross-border business and official travels are in place with Brunei, Indonesia, and South Korea, along with Guangdong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang provinces and Chongqing, Shanghai, and Tianjin municipalities in mainland China. Travelers entering Singapore under the programs must have a sponsoring Singaporean government agency or company, seek prior approval from the Singaporean authorities, and test negative for COVID-19 within 48-72 hours before departure. Travelers must receive another COVID-19 test upon arriving in Singapore, remain at their accommodation until the test returns negative, and adhere to controlled itineraries for the first 14 days of their visit.
Background and Analysis
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
Consider postponing travel if affected by travel restrictions. Confirm flight status before checking out of accommodation and departing for the airport. Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.
Canada - Restrictions - Nationwide
Reed & Mackay Travel Update Service 21 November 2020, 4:59 PM
Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
Location(s): Nationwide (map)
Time Frame: Indefinite
Impact: Transport and business disruptions
Canadian and US authorities will maintain the current closure between the two nations' shared ground borders through at least Dec. 21, to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The measure, which has been in place since March 21, does not affect trade or essential business travel.
Officials in Canada are also maintaining a ban on entry for most nonresident foreign nationals until at least Nov. 30. Canadian citizens and residents returning to the country are required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Immediate family members of Canadian citizens or residents can enter, provided they plan to stay for at least 15 days and are able to quarantine for the first 14 days of their stay. Other nonresident foreign nationals allowed to enter must be traveling for essential reasons and must travel either from the US or be exempt from the restrictions by virtue of being temporary workers, international students, diplomats, aircrew members, or French citizens who live in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon. People working in trade, those who cross the border regularly, government officials, and others working in critical manufacturing, may be exempted of the 14-day self-quarantine requirement, as long as they do not display any COVID-19 symptoms.
Persons exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms are not allowed to board planes to Canada, including Canadian citizens. Canadian authorities have also banned individuals displaying symptoms associated with COVID-19 from domestic air and train travel until further notice. Travelers who are denied boarding are also barred from air or train travel for at least 14 days unless they can produce a medical certificate confirming that any symptoms are unrelated to COVID-19.
Canada maintains tightened border restrictions for persons transiting the country on essential travel to reach Alaska from the 48 contiguous US states ("Lower 48"). Foreign nationals traveling by land to Alaska from the US Lower 48 may only enter Canada through one of five border crossings: Abbotsford-Huntington, Kingsgate, or Osoyoos in British Columbia; North Portal, Saskatchewan; or Coutts, Alberta. Travelers who attempt to enter Canada through any other border crossing will be denied entry and rerouted to an approved crossing. Persons entering Canada from Alaska may use any border crossing. The regulations specify that travelers must take the most direct route through Canada and avoid stopping at leisure sites or national parks. Violators could face fines.
All international flights to Canada - except for trade and business flights, and flights from the US, Mexico, the Caribbean, and St. Pierre and Miquelon - are landing only at Pearson International Airport (YYZ) in Toronto, Vancouver International Airport (YVR), Montreal Trudeau Airport (YUL), and Calgary International Airport (YYC). All air passengers are required to wear protective face coverings, and all maritime and land passengers are encouraged to do the same.
Individual provinces have implemented their own COVID-19 response measures at the regional level:
- Alberta: Outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people are allowed, while private and indoor gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed. Additional targeted measures will be enforced in Edmonton and Calgary and their surrounding areas, as well as Grand Prairie, Fort McMurray, Red Deer, and Lethbridge. In these areas, social gatherings must be limited to 15 people or less; weddings and funerals are limited to 50 people; restaurants, bars, and similar establishments must cease the sale of alcohol by 2200 and close by 2300. Indoor group fitness classes, team sport, and group performance activities are banned.
- British Columbia: Most businesses and services have been allowed to reopen, including retail stores, restaurants, personal care businesses, museums, libraries, office-based businesses, movie theaters, spas, and hotels. Outdoor recreational activities and sports are allowed, and parks and beaches are open. However, large events and community-based gatherings are suspended. Individuals are required to wear facemasks in indoor public spaces and workplaces.
- Manitoba: Enhanced measures went into effect across the province Nov. 20. Individuals may not make visits to other residences. All indoor and outdoor gatherings in public places are to be limited to five people only. Retail businesses may only sell essential items in stores. Restaurants may only open for delivery and pickup services. Personal care services, gyms and fitness centers, recreational and entertainment establishments must close, and religious services must be suspended. Individuals must wear facemasks in all indoor public spaces. Travel to and from northern Manitoba is restricted, and nonessential travel to the province is discouraged.
- New Brunswick: Travelers entering from other regions of Canada must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, except those from Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and some areas of Quebec. Cross-border workers traveling from those areas must also self-quarantine for 14 days unless they volunteer to be tested for COVID-19. Informal gatherings of up to 20 people are permitted. Stricter measures went into effect in the Moncton region Nov. 20, which only permits essential travel in and out of the region, and mandates the use of facemasks in all indoor and outdoor public spaces.
- Newfoundland and Labrador: Travelers entering from other regions of Canada must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, except those from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Gatherings are limited to 50 people; gatherings organized by a recognized business or organization are limited to 100 people. Retail stores, restaurants, outdoor pools, personal care businesses, movie theaters, gyms, and bars can open with capacity limitations. Outdoor recreational activities, sports, and summer camps are permitted to resume. Facemasks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces.
- Northwest Territories: Only residents of the Northwest Territories, essential and approved workers, those moving to, studying in, or transiting the region with an approved self-isolation plan will be allowed entry. Travelers entering from other regions of Canada must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival; the self-quarantine may only be completed in Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River, or Fort Smith. Most travel into the region by air, land, or water has been banned since March 21. Most business restrictions have been eased.
- Nova Scotia: Travelers entering from other regions of Canada must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, except those from Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Protective facemasks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces. Organized events can allow up to 50-percent of the venue's capacity with no more than 200 people indoors, and 250 people outdoors. Social gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed. Bars and restaurants, swimming pools, campgrounds, personal care businesses, and childcare centers can open while maintaining social distancing measures. Public beaches, parks, and other outdoor recreational areas are open.
- Nunavut: Schools and nonessential businesses, including libraries, gyms, personal care businesses, must close for in-person services, and gatherings of more than five people are banned; gatherings must be outside of private homes. Travel from the Northwest Territories and the municipality of Churchill in Manitoba is allowed; from any other areas of Canada or abroad is banned, except for Nunavut residents and essential workers.
- Ontario: Starting Nov. 23, the Toronto and Peel regions will be under stricter measures: indoor gatherings and social events are banned, outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed; schools and childcare centers will remain open, but post-secondary schools cannot offer in-person lessons; restaurants, bars, and clubs must close all in-person operations, and open only for delivery and takeout services; nonessential retail stores and malls can only open for curbside pickup, while entertainment businesses, personal care businesses must close; gyms and fitness centers can only offer outdoor activities to a maximum of 10 people. Meanwhile, Hamilton, Halton, Waterloo, and Durham regions will be in the "red zone" risk level, under which indoor gatherings of more than five people and outdoor gatherings of more than 25 people are banned, restaurants and bars can only allow up to 10 people indoors, event venues can allow up to 10 people indoors, and multiple personal care and entertainment businesses must close. These measures will be in place until at least Dec. 21.
- Prince Edward Island: The use of facemasks is mandatory in all public spaces. Most businesses can open, following social distancing measures. Travelers entering from other regions of Canada must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, except those from Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.
- Quebec: Officials impose restrictions depending on the COVID-19 activity in each region. In Montreal and its surrounding area, as well as in Estrie, Maurice, Centre-du-Quebec, Capitale-Nationale, and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, gatherings are banned, sports and group recreational activities are suspended, public and event venues, such as concert halls, cinemas, and museums, are closed. Restaurants, bars, and similar establishments are closed for in-person services, and can only open for delivery and takeout services; most personal care services can open. Nonessential travel is discouraged. Private gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed between Dec. 24-27, if participants self-quarantine the previous seven days.
- Saskatchewan: The use of facemasks is mandatory in all indoor public spaces, and indoor gatherings of more than five people are banned. Officials urge businesses to allow employees to work from home as much as possible. Other businesses can open with limited capacity and social distancing measures.
- Yukon: Travel is allowed from other provinces, but most travelers must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, except for essential workers and those entering from border areas from British Columbia. Most businesses have been allowed to reopen, and gatherings of up to 15 people with members of the same households are allowed.
Residents of Canada are being asked to stay at home as much as possible. Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
Background and Analysis
The measures taken by authorities in Canada are similar to actions adopted by other governments globally in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
Heed the directives of the local authorities. Reconfirm all travel arrangements before departure. Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.
China - Restrictions - Nationwide
Reed & Mackay Travel Update Service 22 November 2020, 8:52 AM
Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
Location(s): Mainland China (map)
Time Frame: Indefinite
Impact: Transport and business disruptions, supply chain interruptions
Authorities in mainland China are further tightening inbound travel restrictions while generally maintaining localized domestic movement controls amid ongoing efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Officials require all authorized inbound passengers, including Chinese nationals arriving from specified countries, to provide evidence of both nucleic acid COVID-19 and IgM antibody tests taken at designated facilities in the country of origin within 48 hours of boarding flights. Authorities also require travelers departing affected countries to undergo additional COVID-19 tests in each country they transit. As of Nov. 22, the measure applies to Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cote d'Ivoire, Denmark, Egypt, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, the UAE, the UK, the US, and Vietnam. Authorities will likely further expand the testing requirements to other countries in the coming days and weeks, possibly at short notice.
Authorities have also maintained a ban on foreign nationals traveling from specific countries, including arrivals from Belgium, France, Russia, the Philippines, India, Italy, Bangladesh, the UK, Ukraine, and Ethiopia. The restrictions do not apply to Chinese nationals, foreign holders of diplomatic passports, and individuals with C visas - generally flight and shipping crew members. Chinese authorities may expand the ban on inbound travel by foreign nationals arriving from additional countries at short notice in the coming days.
Authorities have lifted most commercial and transport restrictions nationwide. The government continues to rate locations across the country based on the level of COVID-19 activity. The following risk designations are in place:
- Low risk: Locations with no new confirmed COVID-19 cases and no confirmed cases within 14 consecutive days
- Medium risk: Areas where COVID-19 activity does not exceed 50 cases within 14 days, or more than 50 cases have occurred but not within 14 days; no clusters reported within two weeks
- High risk: Places where new confirmed COVID-19 cases surpass 50, and a cluster has been reported within 14 days
As of Nov. 22, officials are designating parts of Manzhouli in Inner Mongolia's Hulunbuir city, Zhangyang area of Anhui Province's Shencheng Township, Yingqian Village in Shanghai, along with Hangu Street and Zhongxin Fishing Port Cold Chain Logistics zones in Tianjin, as medium-risk areas. All other areas in mainland China remain at low risk. Officials could increase the risk rating for a location at short notice if there are new outbreaks. Individuals with recent travel history in high- and medium-risk locations face travel, movement, and gathering restrictions. Most provincial and municipal governments require passengers from medium-risk zones to undergo quarantine and testing. Local governments are highly likely to tighten movement and business restrictions in medium- and high-risk areas; those exiting such areas must generally have negative COVID-19 test results before traveling.
Health checks are ongoing at airports, train stations, and subway stations, increasing travel times. Operators in some major cities require health codes to use public transport. Officials are likely to erect roadblocks and checkpoints on routes into any high- and medium-risk areas of cities and counties after outbreaks.
Authorities in Yunnan, Guangxi, Inner Mongolia, and Heilongjiang are restricting movement through land borders. Most travelers, regardless of nationality or residency, are barred from entering or exiting border checkpoints. Exceptions are in place for cargo transport, though backlogs remain possible at border checkpoints.
Inner Mongolia's Manzhouli Xijiao Airport (NZH) has suspended flight arrivals from Hohhot city effective Nov. 21. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) continues to manage international airline flight volume based on COVID-19 testing outcomes for passengers. If a foreign carrier achieves three weeks with no passengers testing positive, officials will permit one more flight on pre-existing routes. If five passengers of an airline test positive, CAAC will suspend the carrier's operations for one week; if 10 of the airline's passengers test positive, the suspension will last four weeks. China and US regulators continue to limit available flights from each other's countries to eight per week. Authorities continue to restrict Chinese airlines' international operations and limit capacity on aircraft. Some airlines continue to suspend services to and from mainland China due to significantly decreased demand.
The government is maintaining an entry ban for most foreign nationals. Most foreign nationals with valid Chinese residence permits for working, visiting family, and personal matters currently can re-enter the country. Specially designated foreign workers with invitation letters issued by provincial or municipal government officials can also enter the country. Some immediate family members of foreign employees may obtain visas to enter the country for emergency humanitarian purposes. However, foreign nationals with resident permits are still barred if they have recent travel history in Belgium, France, Russia, the Philippines, India, Italy, Bangladesh, the UK, Ukraine, and Ethiopia, and any other countries that face tighter restrictions. Diplomatic personnel and C visa holders are exempt from entry bans. Foreign nationals with valid residence permits must undergo COVID-19 tests before travel and undergo quarantine periods of at least 14 days upon arrival.
Additionally, officials are permitting essential business travel from Singapore and South Korea under fast-track arrangements. Travel is possible between Singapore and Guangdong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang provinces, as well as Chongqing, Shanghai, and Tianjin municipalities. A fast-track arrangement for business travelers from South Korea to 10 Chinese locations, including Shanghai, as well as Liaoning, Shandong, Jiangsu, and Anhui provinces, is also in place. Companies or government agencies can apply for special passes for inbound visitors, who must test negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours of their departure from Singapore or within 72 hours of their departure from South Korea and obtain a visa. Passengers will undergo COVID-19 testing again upon arrival in China and self-isolate at designated facilities (usually hotels) until their results are available. Singapore travelers must also adhere to a preplanned itinerary, refrain from using public transport - except for private hire vehicles - for the first 14 days, and download and use a health pass while in the country. Arriving passengers testing positive for COVID-19 will undergo treatment at their own expense.
Except as specifically stipulated otherwise, authorities require most arriving passengers from abroad to take a nucleic acid COVID-19 test at designated facilities in the country of origin within three days of departure for China. All authorized passengers must apply for a health certificate via the local Chinese diplomatic mission before travel. Chinese citizens must update their information through WeChat to obtain a health code before boarding flights.
Officials are diverting most international flights into Beijing to nearby cities, where passengers receive health scans; exceptions are in place for flights from Canada, Cambodia, Thailand, Pakistan, Greece, Denmark, Sweden, and Austria. Symptomatic passengers receive treatment locally, while asymptomatic passengers can continue to Beijing.
The government continues to conduct health screenings, including body temperature scans and nucleic acid testing, at ports of entry nationwide. Most international travelers must quarantine for 14 days, and officials generally allow nonresident passengers to stay in government-designated hotels at their own cost. However, some governments in border areas require inbound travelers to self-quarantine and undergo medical observation for two additional weeks. The Beijing municipal government allows specific groups of travelers, including residents who live alone, travelers over 70 years old, pregnant women, and travelers with underlying conditions, to self-quarantine with permission. The Shanghai government allows arriving residents to quarantine at a designated facility for seven days and self-quarantine for an additional seven days at home. All arrivals must receive a negative COVID-19 test result in quarantine before release from designated facilities.
Consider postponing nonessential travel to mainland China. Confirm all scheduled international flights. Consult airlines and Chinese diplomatic facilities for details on restrictions prior to any travel. Follow all official instructions and closely monitor official announcements on any other precautionary restrictions. Confirm all travel and business reservations. Allow additional travel time due to screenings at airports, train stations, and other transport hubs. Make allowances for possible business disruptions.
Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.