#ICANN bans travel to #China and Hong Kong thanks to #Coronavirus

ICANN has issued a travel ban to China, Hong Kong and Macau, to its organization members. The travel ban applies to all staff and includes connecting flights.

ICANN is citing the WHO classification of the Coronavirus as a Global Health Emergency as the reason for this extraordinary notice.

How exactly does ICANN plan to enforce this, is not explained. For example, staff members from China surely can’t be forced to not be there.

Here’s the full press release from ICANN:

Wuhan Coronavirus – Photo by CDC on Unsplash

As you are likely aware, there has been an outbreak of a new coronavirus, 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCOV), which was first identified in Wuhan, China. The virus has spread, with confirmed cases currently in 18 countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) has concluded that this is a Global Health Emergency.

The health and safety of ICANN’s global community is a top priority and ICANN org is closely monitoring the situation. Out of an abundance of caution, the org has implemented a unilateral travel ban on all flights to and from China (inclusive of Hong Kong and Macau) that applies to all org staff. This travel ban includes connecting flights. Because of the global nature of this emergency, the health of ICANN funded-travelers is also at risk, and we intend to work with the community leadership to ensure their safety as well. We also recommend that non-essential travel worldwide, particularly to and from those countries that are affected by the virus, be reconsidered in light of this outbreak.

While we do not anticipate that 2019-nCOV will impact upcoming ICANN events, we will update the community as soon as possible in the event that a change is deemed appropriate. As of now, we fully intend to move forward with ICANN67 in Cancún, Mexico.

I encourage you to read the WHO’s advice for the public regarding the coronavirus, and to seek immediate medical attention if you begin displaying symptoms. Take all precautions at this time. If you are sick, or feeling poorly for any reason, avoid travel when possible. We also encourage you to stay apprised of the guidance and advisories being provided by your home country.

We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available. If you have any questions, please reach out to the Security Operations team at security-operations@icann.org.

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