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Understanding compliance with the International Health Regulations (2005): Recommended strategies to inform and strengthen global coordination of the COVID-19 outbreak response

This research project aims to understand the use of cross-border measures, notably travel and trade restrictions, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cross-border measures are measures applied at national borders to achieve a public health goal by controlling the international movement of people, or goods and services. Our project seeks to document their use, understand the rationale for specific measures and how they are used, and review available evidence of their public health and wider impacts. To achieve these objectives, the project team is collecting and analysing primary data on cross-border measures, conducting systematic reviews of available evidence of their impacts, and carrying out three case studies of the use of cross-border measures during COVID-19 by Canada, Hong Kong and the United States. In relation to the International Health Regulations (2005), our research will support evidence-informed decision making about the effective use of cross-border measures during pandemics.

This project is a collaboration among researchers based at Simon Fraser University (SFU), University of Hong Kong and the University of Maryland.  SFU is the coordinating institution.  In addition, the project team is working with a broad range of collaborators including officials in government, public health agencies, the International Air Transport Association, World Health Organization (WHO) and World Economic Forum.  

This project is funded by the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) administered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The project commenced in March 2020 and will be completed in March 2022.