As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) continue to monitor the current and potential impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States and worldwide, the CDC and the Department of State (DOS) have updated their travel guidance by issuing warnings about new countries and raising the threat levels of previously named countries. Further, President Trump has issued a proclamation that temporarily suspends entry to the United States for foreign nationals who have been physically present in Iran within the last 14 days. We outline below the current travel advisories and will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available.
The CDC issued a Travel Advisory alert on Iran at the Warning—Level 3 category, recommending that travelers avoid all nonessential travel.
On February 29, 2020, through a Presidential Proclamation, the U.S. government announced that effective today, March 2, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. eastern time, that it was suspending entry of foreign nationals, both immigrants and nonimmigrants, who were physically present in Iran within the last 14 days preceding their entry into the United States.
The CDC issued a Travel Advisory alert on Italy at the Warning—Level 3 category, recommending that travelers avoid all nonessential travel. DOS maintains a Level 3 Advisory for Italy as well.
The most affected regions are Lombardy and Veneto (North Italy, Milan consular district). On February 23, 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Rome issued a Health Alert, stating that the U.S. Consulate General in Milan has suspended routine visa services until March 2, 2020. Given the continued health concerns, we expect an updated advisory shortly. However, at this time, full consular services are available at the U.S. Embassy in Rome and the U.S. Consulates General in Florence and Naples.
The CDC has raised the Travel Advisory level for China to a Warning—Level 3 category, recommending that travelers avoid all nonessential travel. DOS has raised the Travel Advisory to Level 4 advising that individuals not travel to China, and to be prepared for the possibility of travel restrictions with little to no advanced notice.
The previous warnings related to China under the Presidential Proclamation, effective February 2, 2020, remain in effect. Foreign nationals who have visited China in the last 14 days may not enter the United States, and American citizens and lawful permanent residents who have been to China in the past 14 days will undergo health screenings at a prescribed list of airports. Depending on their history, individuals may receive additional travel prescriptions.
The CDC has raised the Travel Advisory level for South Korea to a Warning—Level 3 category, recommending that travelers avoid all nonessential travel. DOS maintains a Level 3 Advisory for South Korea as well.
The CDC added Japan to the Travel Advisory alerts at Alert—Level 2. The CDC recommends that high-risk travelers practice enhanced precautions. As of February 21, 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo continues to provide all consular services.
The CDC has maintained a Travel Advisory level of Watch—Level 1 (Practice Usual Precautions) for Hong Kong. DOS increased the Hong Kong Travel Advisory to Level 2 (Exercise Increased Caution). Further, the U.S. Consulates in Hong Kong and Macau recommend that anyone with a pending consular appointment who resides in China, has traveled to China recently, or intends to travel to China prior to their planned trip to the United States, postpone their visa interview appointment until 14 days subsequent to their departure from China.