U.S. Tightens Travel Restrictions Over Coronavirus

The Trump administration has implemented new travel restrictions on airline passengers arriving in the United States due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Meanwhile, cruise lines are stepping up their screening procedures and adjusting their routes. 

Effective February 2, under the new travel restrictions all foreign nationals who have traveled to mainland China within the past 14 days will be denied permission to travel to the United States, according to a White House statement. Additionally, any U.S. citizen or lawful U.S. permanent resident returning to the United States who has traveled to mainland China within the previous 14 days will need to enter the U.S. through one of the following approved airports:

  • Atlanta: Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) Beginning Feb. 3 at 7:30 a.m. ET
  • Detroit: Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) Beginning Feb. 3 at 7:30 a.m. ET
  • Newark, NJ: Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) Beginning Feb. 3 at 6:30 a.m. ET
  • Honolulu: Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)
  • New York City: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • Los Angeles: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Chicago: Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Seattle: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
  • San Francisco: San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • Washington, D.C.: Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)

Additionally, citizens who have been to China’s Hubei province within the past 14 days will be subject to a 14-day quarantine, while those who have been anywhere in China within the past 14 days will be subject to a self-quarantine. Airlines have been directed to ask travelers arriving on international flights whether or not they have been to China within the past 14 days. 

Airline Updates

American Airlines suspended all flights between the U.S. and China as of Friday, January 31. The airline says that it will work to assist all customers affected by the travel restrictions. Those scheduled to fly into a non-approved airport will be rerouted or offered a refund.

Delta temporarily suspended flights between the U.S. and China as of February 2. The airline said it will assist customers affected by the new travel restrictions by re-accommodating them on flights after April 30, on an alternate airline or through offering a refund. 

United Airlines will suspend all blights to Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai from February 5 to March 28, with fewer frequencies to those cities through February 5. The airline will continue to operate one daily flight between San Francisco and Hong Kong. Additionally, United said that it will waive change fees to rebook flights for customers traveling to Wuhan and other destinations in mainland China. 

In all cases, travelers are advised to allow for extra time at the airport, as the additional screening will lengthen the normal check-in process.  

There are currently over 20,600 cases of the coronavirus in 24 countries, according to the latest update from the World Health Organization. There have been 426 deaths thus far, all except one in China. 

Last week the State Department updated its travel advisory for China to its highest level, Level 4: Do Not Travel. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. 

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