Coronavirus Update – Asia Pacific

Mar 31, 2020

Over the weekend of 28-29 March 2020, countries throughout the Asia Pacific region continued to impose stringent measures intended to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), while domestic travel restrictions in China are easing. Countries imposing enhanced restrictions include Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and South Korea. Myanmar and Sri Lanka also enacted restrictions on commercial aviation.

In China, on 28 March authorities began allowing individuals to enter Wuhan, the site of the first COVID-19 cases, easing a lockdown that began on 23 January. However, travelers will not be allowed to leave Wuhan until 8 April. Despite easing travel restrictions, provincial authorities continue to maintain border closures. For example, on 27 March thousands of residents — alongside police officers — of Hubei province clashed with Jiangxi police officers on a bridge over the Yangtze River after the latter refused to allow travelers from Hubei to enter Jiangxi despite restrictions on Hubei province being lifted.

The Australian government implemented a ban on public gatherings of more than two people — excluding members of a household – effective from 1930 local time (0830 UTC) on 29 March. The previous day, a measure went into effect requiring all arriving travelers to Australia to undergo a 14-day quarantine at a government-designated facility at their port of entry, without exception.

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