Travel Alerts for the Asia-Pacific Region

Several countries and territories have implemented enhanced health screenings for passengers from China as of 23 January 2020, according to WorldAware*.

The precautions follows an increase in reported cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (denoted 2019-nCoV by the World Health Organization) in several eastern Chinese cities, as well as confirmed cases in Japan, South Korea, and Thailand. Beijing has also confirmed person-to-person transmission of the virus. Several countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa region have also increased cautionary measures, including Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Bahrain.

Increased health screenings vary across the region, meaning that passengers from China will experience longer immigration wait times and possible quarantine as the 2019-nCoV outbreak continues, extending the Lunar New Year holiday.

As of 23 January 2020, the following measures are in place:

Australia: Border Force and New South Wales Health officials will monitor passengers on direct flights from Wuhan to Sydney Airport (SYD) and ask them to self-report if they are experiencing symptoms. Health officials will follow up with travellers displaying symptoms on arrival.

Hong Kong: The Government will require health declaration forms for passengers on direct flights from Wuhan, and will fine travellers up to HKD5,000 (USD 643) for false declarations. Authorities may take passengers experiencing symptoms to hospitals for further examination. From 30 January border crossing from China to Hong Kong will be restricted.

India: Authorities are screening passengers from mainland China at Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL), Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM), Chennai International Airport (MAA), Kempegowda International Airport (BLR), Cochin International Airport (COK), Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU), and Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (HYD). Airlines will require travellers to complete a health declaration before arrival. Officials have set up thermal scanners at health screening checkpoints before Immigration in the affected airports; however, authorities are primarily targeting travellers with symptoms or a record of previous travel to Wuhan.

Indonesia: Officials have deployed thermal scanners at all 135 entry points to the country and will target passengers from China and other countries with reported 2019 novel coronavirus activity. Authorities will conduct interviews with travellers with temperatures above 38˚C (100˚F). All airlines must provide the Indonesian Health Ministry with health declarations and passenger manifests for flights departing from or connecting through China.

Japan: Passengers from Wuhan are required to complete a health declaration and report any symptoms or potential exposure to officials upon arrival.

Macau: Authorities requiring a health declaration form upon arrival, and have implemented thermal scanners at all points of entry into Macau. Officials have also deployed temperature screening equipment to all casino entrances in the territory.

Malaysia: Officials are using thermal scanners at ports of entry, including Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL), for passengers from China; however, officials are likely to scrutinize passengers on flights from Wuhan most closely.

North Korea: Pyongyang has banned tourist travel to the country as of 22 January 2020. However, it is unclear whether the measure will affect diplomatic and foreign employees. Pyongyang has placed all such travellers in quarantine during previous outbreaks before allowing them to enter the country, even when they did not exhibit any symptoms.

Philippines: Authorities are using thermal scanners at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) to monitor passengers from China. Officials at other international airports and ports are reportedly conducting manual temperature checks. Passengers may have to go through extra quarantine checks if they have a fever or are exhibiting flu-like symptoms.

Singapore: Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) has expanded thermal scanning to arriving passengers from China, especially Wuhan. Officials will take any passengers experiencing symptoms, and with a record of recent travel to Wuhan, to hospital; officials may refer passengers with a high temperature to hospitals for assessment.

South Korea: Officials are increasing health screenings at points of entry nationwide for passengers from Wuhan and other affected areas in China, including Beijing and Shanghai. Measures are likely to be most intense at airports in the country, notably Incheon International Airport (ICN).

Thailand: Airports in Thailand are increasing screening for passengers from southeast China at all international airports in the country, including Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), Dom Mueang International Airport (DMK), Phuket International Airport (HKT), and Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX). Officials have established health checkpoints for passengers on direct flights from Wuhan; however, personnel will use termal scanners to monitor all passengers on flights from south-eastern China. Authorities will take travellers from high-risk areas of China with symptoms to hospitals for examination and quarantine.

Vietnam: Officials are increasing scrutiny of travellers at border checkpoints; passengers from Wuhan or with recent travel history to the city will face further health screenings. The measures are likely to be noticeable at Cam Ranh International Airport (CXR), Noi Bai International Airport (HAN), and Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN). Passengers with symptoms of the virus may face quarantine.

Additional countries could announce enhanced health screenings or expand their response in the coming days/weeks.

If travelling to regions in Asia-Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, follow all official instructions. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings, especially if travelling from China. You should also exercise basic health precautions, such as 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. If experiencing symptoms associated with 2019 novel coronavirus, delay any travel and contact your local health professional.

*The information in this document is provided by WorldAware. While WorldAware constantly monitors the changing world situation and strives for accuracy and timeliness, this information is provided on an "as is" basis, and your use of this information is at your own risk.


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