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Ebola Screening – DHS Implementing Travel Restrictions

23 Oct

Measures taken to prevent the spread of disease to the U.S.

Earlier this week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implemented travel restrictions in the form of additional screening and protective measures at U.S. ports of entry for travelers from the three West African Ebola-affected countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. The DHS also announced that they have put in place measures to identify and screen travelers at all land, sea, and air ports of entry into the United States for individuals believed to have been present in Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea in the previous 21 days.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DHS implemented enhanced screening measures at five airports around the country – New York’s JFK, Newark, Dulles, Atlanta, and Chicago. Passengers flying into one of these airports from flights originating in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea are subject to secondary screening and added protocols, including having their temperature taken, before they can be admitted into the United States.

The DHS is also requiring airlines to route passengers from these three affected countries to the five U.S. airports that have the enhanced screening procedures implemented and added personnel in place. These airports account for about 94 percent of travelers flying to the United States from these countries. At present there are no direct, non-stop commercial flights from Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea to any airport in the United States.

As always, Foster will continue to monitor developments related to DHS admission procedures impacting international travelers and will provide additional information as it becomes available in future Immigration Updates© and our website.