Travel Restrictions Lifted

Mar 25, 2020

On 24 March 2020, the Health Commission for China’s Hubei province announced that it will lift travel restrictions in and out of the province on 25 March, with the exception of Wuhan — the original epicenter of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Travel restrictions for Wuhan are set to be lifted on 8 April, when individuals can leave based on health status. Currently, Wuhan residents considered healthy can travel within the city and use public transportation if they show identification. Residents can also return to work with a permit from their employer. Wuhan has been under lockdown since 23 January.

On 24 March authorities in Laos announced that the first two confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported in Vientiane, the capital. According to officials, the patients work in the tourism industry, recently traveled abroad and had close contact with foreign travelers. However, it remains unknown if the patients contracted the virus abroad or in Laos.

Officials in Myanmar announced the country’s first two confirmed cases of COVID-19 on 24 March. The patients reportedly traveled separately to the U.S. and U.K. Health officials are investigating any possible contacts the patients may have had since returning to Myanmar.

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha announced that the government will declare a state of emergency on 26 March that will remain in place for at least one month due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Prayuth announced that additional measures will be implemented to prevent further spread of the disease in conjunction with the state of emergency. The forthcoming measures will likely include restrictions on public assemblies, prohibitions on transportation, a requirement to remain at home and penalty for spreading misinformation.

In Brunei, an entry ban went into effect for all incoming foreign travelers, including those transiting the country, on 24 March The ban applies to all ports of entry until further notice. Additionally, the government will temporarily suspend all visa services.

The government of Bangladesh has announced that all domestic flights will be suspended from 25 March-4 April. Previously, the government suspended all public transportation services, including bus and rail, indefinitely to limit the spread of COVID-19. Health officials have recorded at least 39 confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide, with four deaths.

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