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An Update on the Coronavirus and Its Impact on ICANN

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


    Domain Name System
    Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."