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Significant Restrictions Placed on Travel to the U.S. from China due to Coronavirus Concerns

5 Feb

On February 2, 2020 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began quarantining arriving passengers from China to verify whether or not they have contracted the Coronavirus and ensure that they do not pose a public health risk.

DHS further indicated as a general rule that non-U.S. citizens who have traveled to China within two weeks of their arrival, other than immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, flight crew members, and foreign diplomats, would be denied entry to the United States.

This follows U.S. President Trump’s issuance of a Presidential Proclamation on January 31, 2020, entitled “Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus” directing DHS to take these actions.

As of February 3, 2020, DHS ordered all flights from China and all passengers who recently traveled to China within the preceding 14-day period to be re-routed to the following airports, if not already the destination, at no cost to the traveler:

  • ATL (Atlanta, Georgia)
  • DFW (Dallas, Texas)
  • DTW (Detroit, Michigan)
  • EWR (Newark, New Jersey)
  • HNL (Honolulu, Hawaii)
  • IAD (Chantilly, Virginia)
  • JFK (New York, New York)
  • LAX (Los Angeles, California)
  • ORD (Chicago, Illinois)
  • SFO (San Francisco, California)
  • SEA (Seattle, Washington)

This list was originally defined by the DHS on February 2, with three additional airports added on February 3.

As a result of the quarantine and potential denial of entry of certain travelers, significant delays are anticipated for all travelers from China to the United States.  The substantial re-routing of flights may also cause significant domestic and internal flight delays to, within, and from the United States.

Business travelers between China and the United States are recommended to contact their Foster immigration attorney for the latest update to this procedure and to verify the ability to travel between these countries.  Foster will make future updates available via its website at or via an Immigration Update©.