Authorities in North America increase screenings, restrictions in airports for travelers from China, as of early February.

Severity: Informational Alert

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Mexico City
  • Toronto, Ont.
  • Vancouver, B.C.
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Washington, DC
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • New York City, New York
  • San Francisco, California
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Cancun
  • Guadalajara
  • Monterrey
  • Tijuana
  • Montreal, Que.
  • Newark, New Jersey

This alert began 06 Feb 2020 23:19 GMT and is scheduled to expire 21 Feb 2020 20:52 GMT.

  • Event: Increased screenings and restrictions
  • Location(s): Multiple locations in the US, Canada, and Mexico (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Potential quarantine orders; longer waiting times in immigration

Authorities in the US, Canada, and Mexico are continuing stricter health screenings and travel restrictions for travelers arriving from China as of early February. US authorities have banned foreign nationals who have traveled to China within the past 14 days from entering the US starting Feb. 2. US citizens who have traveled to China's Hubei Province, where the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) originated, within the past 14 days will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Any US citizen who has traveled to China within the same time period will undergo a health screening upon entry and will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. The new measure will also limit incoming flights from China to landing only in the following 11 airports: New York John F. Kennedy International (JFK), Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International (ATL), Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA), Honolulu Daniel K. Inouye International (HNL), Los Angeles International (LAX), San Francisco International (SFO), Chicago O'Hare International (ORD), Washington Dulles International (IAD), Newark Liberty International (EWR), Dallas-Fort Worth International (DFW), and Detroit Metropolitan (DTW).

Officials in Canada have made minor revisions to procedures specifically at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), Vancouver International Airport (YVR), and Montreal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL). The new procedures include additional screening questions for incoming travelers to identify persons who may be arriving from China's Hubei Province. Nonsymptomatic travelers will be given an informational brochure and advised to follow up with their healthcare providers. Travelers appearing to be symptomatic for an infectious illness will be directed to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) for in-depth examination per the nation's standard procedures in such cases.

In Mexico, China Southern Airlines (CZ) and Hainan Airlines (HU) have suspended flights on their direct Mexico-China routes until at least April 9 and May 14, respectively.

The precautions and restrictions follow an increase in reported cases of 2019-nCoV in Wuhan and other eastern Chinese cities, as well as confirmed cases in other countries, and of people traveling from the affected regions. Authorities have given no estimate as to when the restrictions will be lifted and may announce further measures in the coming days.

Follow all official instructions. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings, especially if traveling from China. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with 2019 novel coronavirus, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.