The U.S. Department of Homeland security in coordination with the administration has declared that it would temporarily deny entry to any foreign visitor who has visited China in the past 14 days prior to arrival.
195 Americans have already been evacuated from Wuhan and are currently in the quarantine status which will also last them a full two weeks.
As CNBC reported last night the government has issued federal quarantine orders for citizens and formulated a new policy for foreigners arriving in the United States.
U.S. health officials have quarantined 195 Americans evacuated from Wuhan, China, taking the rare step of issuing a mandatory order for the first time in more than 50 years to help contain an outbreak of a new coronavirus that’s spread to roughly 10,000 people across the globe.
“CDC under statutory authority of the HHS secretary has issued federal quarantine orders for all 195 passengers,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said on a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conference call with reporters Friday. “While we recognize this is an unprecedented action, we are facing an unprecedented public health threat.” …
Trump administration officials later said they were and issuing mandatory quarantines for any U.S. citizens who have visited Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, in the last 14 days. Travel restrictions were also being issued for anyone who visited elsewhere in mainland China over the previous two weeks. The administration plans to deny entry to foreign nationals who “pose a risk of transmitting” the virus in the U.S., administration officials said at a news conference a few hours after the CDC’s call.
“Any U.S. citizen returning to the United States who has been in the Hubei province in the previous 14 days will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine to ensure they’re provided proper medical care and health screening,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said.
CNN reports in an updated coverage the ban will take effect Sunday, February 3rd 2020 at 5pm.
This ban apparently won’t include immediate family members of a U.S. citizen but since neither DHS nor CBP have the actual policy on their website yet it’s hard to say what CBP would consider “immediate” and how to prove that relationship when push comes to shove.
Arrivals in the U.S. prior to that time should be unaffected, however keep in mind the decision to grant a foreigner entry is done at the port of entry and if there are sufficient reasons a traveler can be denied.
This steps things up a bit. I wonder how many countries are going to copycat this policy and ban all foreigners with a proven travel record to China. Of course many including myself have two passports to circumvent this. Not that I would ever go to China under the current circumstances.
There should be an official announcement sometime today. Airlines would likely have to offer free rescheduling based on this policy. Should your airline refuse to do it for free you should file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation.