As the Wuhan coronavirus is on track to sicken some 15,000 people worldwide, the United States will starting at 5 p.m. ET Sunday strictly cut down on travel from China and impose tough quarantine regulations.
Under new rules that are said to be temporary, U.S. citizens coming home after staying in China’s Hubei Province within the past two weeks must undergo up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine.
U.S. citizens who had been elsewhere in China within same time period must undergo a “proactive entry health screening” at their port of entry as well as up to two weeks of “monitored self-quarantine,” according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In addition, under a presidential proclamation, foreign nationals deemed to “pose a risk of transmitting” the coronavirus will be blocked from entering the U.S.
“As a result, foreign nationals, other than immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, who have traveled to China within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the U.S. for this time.”
The move will likely take a toll on the nation’s travel and tourism industries, but could help slow the spread in the U.S., one virology expert told us.
“They likely will cut down the risk. But they won’t remove it unless they account for indirect travel from other countries,” said virology expert Ian Mackay, an adjunct assistant professor at School of Medicine at the University of Queensland in Australia, of such travel restrictions in general.