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Employer Alert—Coronavirus Travel Restrictions Update

On February 2, 2020, the United States joined a growing list of countries that have implemented travel restrictions for those at risk of transmitting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Below is a summary of the measures that have been implemented pending further notice.

Foreign Nationals

Pursuant to a proclamation signed by President Donald Trump on January 31, 2020, the United States will bar the entry of foreign nationals if they were physically present in China within 14 days prior to their travel to the United States.

Exceptions include but are not limited to

  • lawful permanent residents;

  • foreign national spouses of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents; and

  • foreign national parents of unmarried U.S. citizens or lawful permanent resident children under the age of 21.

U.S. Citizens

On January 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services implemented a mandatory quarantine of up to 14 days for U.S. citizens returning to the United States who traveled to Hubei Province, China, within the past 14 days.

U.S. citizens who traveled to other parts of China within the previous 14 days will be subject to an enhanced health screening upon arrival at a select number of ports of entry and may be required to self-quarantine for up to 14 days.

On February 2, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that U.S. citizens traveling to the United States from China would be rerouted to the following airports for an enhanced health screening (at no cost to the traveler):

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York

  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois

  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California

  • Seattle–Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington

  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii

  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), California

  • Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia

  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia

  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey

  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas

  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Michigan

According to DHS, if a traveler who spent time in China (but outside Hubei Province) shows no signs or symptoms following a health screening, that person will be rebooked to his or her destination and asked to self-quarantine at home. Travelers may experience delays.

It is also worth noting that the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in China will be closed from February 3 to February 7, 2020. The U.S. Department of State warns that the ability of the embassy and consulates to assist U.S. citizens in China may be limited.

© 2020, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.

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About this Author

Melissa Manna, Ogletree Deakins Law Firm, Raleigh, Immigration Practice Group Writer
Immigration Practice Group Writer

Melissa Manna is an Immigration Practice Group Writer. Her primary focus is writing and editing legal articles relating to immigration for the firm’s online and print publications, websites, and newsletters.

Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, Melissa spent 9 years as in-house counsel at TowerCo, one of the largest independent wireless tower companies in the U.S., representing the company in all aspects of commercial real estate. During that time she managed due diligence, advised and implemented risk management solutions, and closed transactions...

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