Travel Restrictions for Limiting Community Disease Spread (First Draft)

This was a working draft on travel restrictions. Final draft was published here

Travel restrictions are a vital tool in the fight against COVID-19 and a necessary strategy to #CrushTheCurve. By limiting travel between zones the transmission of the disease can be greatly limited and allows for the ability to identify and protect safe zones.

Travel areas can generally be denominated in three different colors, Green, Yellow and Red:

  • Green zones – are areas with no confirmed cases or no new confirmed cases for 14 consecutive days;
  • Yellow zones – are those with new confirmed cases within 14 days – but the total new cases are no more than 50, or with cumulatively more than 50 confirmed cases – but no cluster epidemic within 14 days; and
  • Red zones – are those where the cumulative number of confirmed cases have exceeded 50 cases, and a cluster epidemic was recorded within the last 14 days.

Borders between zones need to be enforced to ensure policies are followed. Zones should reduce number of border crossings as necessary to ensure appropriate staffing to ensure quarantine and proper transport guidelines are followed.


Zones can create their own travel restrictions based on local needs. In general any travelers coming from yellow or red zones should quarantine or self-isolate for 14 days. Domestic travelers may not need to be quarantined if they are coming from another low risk area. Travelers should travel with cards that show their itinerary (origin, intended destination, zones they have traveled through) and tests with results (if possible) from zones they have passed through on their journey. Border staff should consider marking travel documents with color-coded stickers (red for covid19 symptoms or traveling from hardest hit areas, yellow for US, green for the rest). Ideally, a full suite of testing is done on all travelers traveling between zones including thermal recording, symptom questionnaire, nose swab, throat swab and tracing registration. Swab test results should be added to travel card when available.

Transit vehicle traffic

  • Restrict traffic coming from yellow or red zones. Any traveler coming from a yellow or red zone should be quarantined or should self-isolate with supervision for 14 days.
  • Exceptions for essential workers may be granted but quarantine is strongly advised. Essential workers who are COVID19 positive should quarantine in their home zone.
  • Avoid pit stops if possible. When necessary, wear a mask, practice distancing and thoroughly wash hands. Add pit stop to travel itinerary for tracing purposes.

Freight and cargo transport:

  • Set up quarantine areas for freight drivers to go once they have delivered their goods. They either return to their origin the same day or wait in a quarantine area until their next job.
  • Packages should undergo sanitation or quarantine for a period of time to deactivate any virus on fomites and prevent transmission.
  • Freight and cargo transport without self-isolation is possible, provided that:
    • there are no symptoms of illnesses
    • the vehicle operators do not leave the vehicle
    • loading and unloading is carried out by the customer
    • the vehicle operators leaves the country again within 24 hours
  • For trips that last longer than 24 hours If the vehicle operator went to a yellow or red zone on their journey, upon return they should quarantine while they wait for the next job or if they want to reenter the safe zone quarantine or self-isolate for 14 days.

SOURCES
https://www.china-briefing.com/news/chinas-travel-restrictions-due-to-covid-19-an-explainer/https://www.gw-world.com/news/press-releases/news/update-coronavirus-covid-19/
https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/international-travel-document-news/1580226297.htmhttps://www.china-briefing.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/CHINA-Travel-Entry-COVID-19-Policy-By-Province-As-of-27-March-2020.jpghttps://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-new-coronavirus-policies-disrupt-u-s-air-cargo-operations-11585859298

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