Alerts

Novel Coronavirus

Published on February 4, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a health emergency of international concern for the novel coronavirus on January 30, 2020. Coronaviruses (CoV) can cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. The current outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was first reported in Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019. Altair Global is actively monitoring the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and its impact on global mobility employees currently living or traveling to/from China.

IMPACT ON GLOBAL MOBILITY

Altair Global Consultants have been contacting our customers to check on each person’s individual situation. We want to ensure they feel safe, no matter where they are located at this time. Here is some helpful information from the Senior Vice President of our APAC region:

  • In China, people have been advised on basic hygiene and instructed to wear surgical masks in public places, including other parts of China, such as Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. Nearby countries are also taking these precautions.
  • If assignees are in China, they have already been advised on what to do in regard to the outbreak.
  • If assignees are traveling to China, they should be aware of the virus outbreak at this point. We recommend only traveling out of immediate necessity.
  • At client request, we have assisted travelers in evacuating the APAC area. It is suggested all companies confirm immigration/visa requirements before considering different work areas or evacuation procedures.
  • If you have questions or concerns about evacuating employees, we recommend you contact your company’s internal teams (such as safety and security or travel) to confirm what actions might already be in process for employees in affected areas.

ITEMS TO CONSIDER

  • The major cities in China have now shut down all commerce through February 17. Further extensions of the shutdown are possible.
  • Many countries have introduced additional health screening procedures at some or all of their ports of entry. Travelers to and from the APAC region should allow extra time for possible screenings/quarantines. Some countries like Singapore may deny entry to visitors with a travel history to mainland China within the last 14 days.
  • Several airlines, trains, and buses have suspended travel into and out of Hubei Province, and in some cases, all of mainland China. Travelers to the APAC region should check with their travel provider for updates.
  • Customers with household goods shipments can expect delays and extra costs. All shipments inbound, outbound and intra-China in affected locations are effectively on hold.
  • Freight forwarders are also requiring health screenings for customers and their crew members who are exposed to customers. If the customer or crew member has travelled to/from China in the last 14-day period prior to the survey, pack or delivery dates, freight forwarders will maintain a 14-day buffer before meeting in person. Other service providers may follow this requirement.

SUMMARY

Altair Global will continue to monitor this situation and communicate any major updates to our customers and clients. Please contact your Altair Global Client Services representative with any questions.

For information on the novel coronavirus, please explore these websites which were sourced for this alert:

World Health Organization

Singapore’s Ministry of Health

European Commission’s Directorate for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE)

United States Centers for Disease Control

Fragomen

Contact your Altair Global Client Services representative for more information.

 

Altair Global (‘Altair’) has provided this information as a service and convenience for your information only. It is not intended to replace your own legal or financial guidance and/or assistance and you are encouraged to seek the advice of your own tax and legal advisor. Further, the information contained herein is to our knowledge accurate to the extent of the data available to Altair as of the date identified. Altair does not assume responsibility for the accuracy of the contents hereof and is under no obligation to update the material contained herein