Monday,  October 2, 2023  8:29 am

Coronavirus: U.S. enacts new entry requirements for recent China visitors

Coronavirus: U.S. enacts new entry requirements for recent China visitors
Christine Hogg

Christine Hogg is the Associate Digital Editor at PAX Global Media. Prior to joining PAX, she obtained her Honours BA in Journalism from the University of Toronto. Upon graduating, she went on to write for several travel publications while travelling the world. Her longest trip was a three-week stint in Europe, and the shortest was a 16-hour adventure in Iceland. Get in touch:

The U.S. Government has imposed new entry requirements that prohibit individuals who have recently visited mainland China from entering the country.

READ MORE: WHO declares coronavirus a global public health emergency

With some exceptions, travellers who have been to the People's Republic of China within 14 days of their attempted entry to the U.S. will be prevented from entering the country.

"Effective February 2, 2020, 5 p.m. EST, the Proclamation restricts and suspends the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of certain aliens who were physically present within the People’s Republic of China, excluding the Special Autonomous Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, during the 14-day period immediately preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States," Steve SappPublic Affairs Officer, Mid-Atlantic Region, U.S. Customs and Border Protection told PAX.

The United States Government has established enhanced screening procedures at 11 airports, and has the capacity to quarantine passengers, if needed.

In an official press release, the Department of Homeland Security said that "generally, foreign nationals (other than immediate family of U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and flight crew) who have traveled in China within 14 days of their arrival, will be denied entry into the United States."

Air Canada is advising all customers travelling to the U.S., and who have been in the People’s Republic of China (excluding the special administrative regions of Hong Kong, Macau) within 14 days of their departing flight to the U.S. to review its goodwill policy and additional travel options.

Many other countries are also imposing new entry requirements to their countries for customers who have been to the People’s Republic of China. 

#Coronavirus: Multiple countries often visited by Canadians, such as the #UnitedStates, #Cuba, and #Australia, have put in place new entry restrictions or control measures, including for travellers in transit. Check before travelling.

— (@TravelGoC) February 3, 2020

What's happening in Canada?

The Canadian Government is advising Canadians to avoid non-essential travel to China, but to avoid all travel to Hubei province, including the cities of Wuhan, Huanggang and Ezhou, due to the imposition of heavy travel restrictions in order to limit the spread of a novel coronavirus. 

The Government of Canada has chartered a flight from Wuhan to Canada for Canadian citizens looking to return to Canada.

The Canadian Customs and Border Services Agency (CBSA) is taking necessary precautions, and is working closely with Public Health Canada and airport authorities nationwide to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus to Canadians through a series of enhanced screening measures and new policies. 

Signage has been placed in CBSA arrival areas to raise awareness and guide travellers as they make their way through some of Canada's busiest airport hubs. 

"Additional screening has been added to help prevent the possible spread of this infectious disease into Canada," said Denis Vinette, vice president, traveller's branch, CBSA, in a video uploaded to Twitter. "All international travellers arriving at these international airports are being asked an additional screening question, and travellers experiencing flu-like symptoms are referred to the Public Health Agency of Canada staff for further screening."

A specialized cleaning solution is also being used throughout airports to sanitize countertops and other frequently touched surfaces in the CBSA and arrivals areas. Hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, and eye protection continue to be readily available to CBSA officers as required.

For the latest breaking news and updates on the novel coronavirus in Canada, click here.

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