Can You Help My Son Get Permits To Drive To Wuhan Airport?
February 1, 2020 11:04 PM   Subscribe

My son went to a city just outside of Wuhan China a couple of weeks ago to attend a wedding. He has since been trapped in an apartment there by the caronavirus and resulting Chinese transportation lockdown. He has a seat to leave on a US State Department sponsored flight leaving Monday, but as of now (Sunday afternoon in China) he can't get to the airport that's only an hour's drive away.

He has not been able to get the documentation he needs in order to get to the airport. He has a driver and a car and a tag number and a Chinese cell number (his wife's); and he believes he needs some official document or letter from the US State Department describing the situation and listing him as a passenger on the plane, or even better B) ,for the relevant US State Department to contact the Hubei Foreign Affairs Office and have them provide him with such a letter or similar travel permit

We have telephoned and emailed the correct number and email address of the US Embassy in Beijing. He is listed to be on the flight. But we are now stuck. We are grateful for the efforts to date and respect that others are in need as well. Today, Sunday, is the last day to help him get out and home to the US,
posted by randomfan to Travel & Transportation around Wuhan, China (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Try constituent services for your US senators, or US representatives. I realize that Sunday might be a difficult day for that, but it's kind of an emergency, so maybe you can get through.

If that utterly failed, I might try the biggest newspaper or news organization in your area. They might find the story interesting, but more than that, a political reporter might have a connection that would help you.
posted by amtho at 11:11 PM on February 1, 2020 [5 favorites]

Can you clarify if you got a response after calling/emailing the U.S. Embassy in Beijing? Do you need a better way to get through to the State Department or was it that the response they gave didn't help?
posted by whitewall at 2:41 AM on February 2, 2020 [4 favorites]

I'm note sure if this is helpful or not - but a bicycle would cover the distance of an hour's drive in 3-4 hours. The brief scans I have done about the Wuhan transport lock down (example) indicate that it is travel by car and public transport that is being limited. It would probably be achievable to buy a bicycle from somebody at or near his apartment block.
posted by rongorongo at 3:41 AM on February 2, 2020 [9 favorites]

(and Google Maps indicates that it would be possible to walk to the airport from downtown Wuhan in about 7 hours)
posted by rongorongo at 4:06 AM on February 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

Is the issue the mode of transportation or merely approaching the airport?
posted by Mistress at 5:11 AM on February 2, 2020

Has he contacted the Wuhan Consulate directly?
posted by hydropsyche at 5:19 AM on February 2, 2020 [5 favorites]

Folks in the coronavirus check-in thread may have expertise. Good luck.
posted by theora55 at 8:23 AM on February 2, 2020

Best answer: According to this site, State has also set up a dedicated inbox for US Citizens in Hubei needing assistance: Not sure if you already tried that option.
posted by photo guy at 9:41 AM on February 2, 2020

Response by poster: The flight has been delayed, maybe for one day but not sure. It is said the delay was associated with the plane’s arrival in Wuhan being delayed. Have been in seeming constant contact w US embassy in Beijing via the official above noted topical email and received a call to confirm information as to identity and location. Have now secured a driver and car and shared ID of that w Embassy.

It’s just that there is no feedback as to how to get right of passage through area roadblocks to go from Xiaogan to airport in Wuhan or even if the US is endeavoring to secure that. . Could help if we had telephone number or contact info for appropriate and responsive Chinese official. My son and his wife can communicate directly though I suspect the officials are overwhelmed.

Our Senator’s constituent services office got all our information and privacy releases but they have not gotten anything either on ground transport. Walking or biking seems too risk laden to me, regarding health and communication capacity. Frankly, it would be a living nightmare for me if he were to “disappear” from me in this context.
posted by randomfan at 12:00 PM on February 2, 2020 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Also Wuhan consulate said to be closed but will try that now and again after the sun rises over there too. Thank you all for your concern.
posted by randomfan at 12:05 PM on February 2, 2020 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: It appears things are moving ahead. Tha no s again everyone for the helpful ideas and information.
posted by randomfan at 4:07 AM on February 3, 2020 [7 favorites]

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