United States President Donald Trump announced new restrictions Sunday on travel to and from China as the coronavirus outbreak continues to kill hundreds of people.
According to the Department of Homeland Security’s official website, the U.S. government has barred entry to foreign nationals who recently visited China and started rerouting all incoming flights and American passengers onboard through one of eight approved airports.
In addition, travelers who visited China within the last 14 days will have to visit an approved health screening facility. Officials said three more airports designated for screening would be added Monday.
The approved airports can be found in Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Newark, Honolulu, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
The U.S. offered China “tremendous help” in dealing with the outbreak, according to President Trump, but China has yet to accept the aid. Trump followed it up by saying, “We can’t have thousands of people coming in who may have this problem – the coronavirus.”
Several major airlines including American and Delta have issued travel alerts regarding the government-imposed restrictions. Carriers are stressing that foreign nationals who visited China within the past two weeks and are denied entry to the country of destination will not be permitted back into the United States.
Airlines serving China who had yet to temporarily suspend flights did so following the announcement of the new restrictions. Impacted travelers can receive re-accommodation to flights after April 30, a seat on another airline’s route, a refund or additional options.
Carriers in mainland China are also canceling flights to the U.S., as the New York Post is reporting China Eastern Airlines suspended service from Shanghai to New York, Los Angeles and other U.S. cities.
Last week, the U.S. Department of State raised its travel advisory for China to Level 4 and issued a “do not travel” warning. The decision came after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a global emergency.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also announced the first confirmed human-to-human transmission of the virus in the country. The Chicago woman reportedly gave the illness to her husband after returning from a trip to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak.
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Which States Now Require Domestic Travelers to Self-Quarantine?
Maine became the latest state to issue an executive order, released by the Governor’s office on April 3, 2020, requiring that inbound domestic travelers self-quarantine for fourteen days upon arrival in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.
While the federal government has not moved to restrict domestic travel within the U.S., USA Today indicated that the governors of at least twelve states are taking action to discourage interstate movements by announcing quarantine requirements on outside visitors, as well as residents returning home from other states. With the coronavirus now spreading quickly through American communities, governors of 40 states have also issued stay-at-home orders for their residents.
While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that that it “does not generally issue advisories or restrictions for travel within the United States,” the intense community spread of the novel coronavirus prompted the organization to issue a domestic Travel Advisory, “urging residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately.” These East Coast states have rapidly emerged as the epicenter of the current COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S.
The state’s order requires incoming travelers to go straight from the airport to their “designated quarantine location” (referring to residents’ homes, or visitors’ hotel rooms or rented lodgings). They must remain there, avoiding all nonessential outings for fourteen days or the duration of their visit, if it’s shorter than two weeks.
Delaware requires all out-of-state travelers to self-quarantine for fourteen days, including those who arrived during the fourteen days prior to March 30, 2020. Law enforcement officers are authorized to stop any vehicles with out-of-state plates.
Florida requires those on arriving flights from the New York tri-state area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) to quarantine for fourteen days or the duration of their stay, if it’s shorter. A separate order requires people driving in from Louisiana to self-quarantine and highway checkpoints have been established.
All visitors and residents arriving at Hawaiian airport must fill out a declaration form and proceed straight to their “designated quarantine location”, remaining there for fourteen days or, if it’s shorter, the length of their stay. The state now requires anyone traveling between any of the islands to do the same.
Kansas has mandated that residents who traveled to California, Florida, New York, Washington on or after March 15; Illinois or New Jersey on or after March 23; or Colorado and Louisiana on or after March 27 must self-quarantine for fourteen days after returning to Kansas.
Kentucky has instructed its residents not to travel to other states (with certain exceptions) and those returning from outside the state are required to self-quarantine for fourteen days.
Maine is requiring any travelers entering the state to self-quarantine for fourteen days, also requesting that anyone experiencing symptoms refrain from going there.
visitors are being urged not to travel to Massachusetts if they are experiencing coronavirus symptoms, and all incoming travelers are obliged to self-quarantine for fourteen days.
Nevada has released a travel advisory encouraging all residents and visitors alike to self-quarantine for fourteen days, except for certain essential personnel.
North Dakota issued a confinement order for those arriving to the state from any of 23 states or from abroad to self-quarantine for fourteen days, and recommends that snowbirds and spring-breakers do the same.
Oklahoma’s executive order requires those coming off of flights from the New York tri-state area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut), Washington state, California or Louisiana to quarantine for fourteen days.
Rhode Island has instituted a fourteen-day self-quarantine for persons traveling in from any other state.
South Carolina is imposing a fourteen-day self-quarantine on people who enter the state from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or New Orleans.
Fourteen-day self-quarantine orders now apply to travelers arriving from Atlanta California Chicago, Connecticut, Detroit, Louisiana, Miami, New Jersey, New York and Washington state. Highway checkpoints have been set up to collect a declaration form from Louisiana drivers at the states’ shared border.
Vermont is requiring both visitors and returning residents traveling into Vermont “for anything other than an essential purpose” to self-quarantine for fourteen days. The executive order also instructed anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, as well as those bound from coronavirus “hot spots”, such as Chicago Connecticut Detroit Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey and New York, not to come to Vermont.
West Virginia is compelling anyone coming in from New Jersey, New York, Louisiana, Italy or China to self-quarantine for fourteen days, with exemptions made for those who commute into or out of the state for work.
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