There are over 5,000 airports open to the public in the United States. Only 7 of them are currently accepting flights from China due to the coronavirus outbreak. Cases have soared to more than 9,950 globally.
Chinese flights will be funneled through these city airports:
- Los Angeles
- New York JFK International
- San Francisco
Foreign nationals who have been in China recently will be denied entry to the US as American carriers steeply cut flights to and from the virus-stricken country.
The public health emergency declared by the US requires as much as a 14-day quarantine of citizens returning from the province at the center of the coronavirus outbreak while denying entry to some foreigners.
Travelers who will be denied entry are foreign nationals – other than immediate family of US citizens and permanent residents – who have been in China within the past 14 days. Foreign nationals who have been in China recently, and who display symptoms, will be denied entry to the US.
These actions will commence starting Sunday, February 2 as per President Trump’s newly-formed virus task force.
US citizens who have been in Hubei province during the past 2 weeks will be subject to the quarantine, said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. Citizens returning from elsewhere in China will be subject to screening and have to self-quarantine for 2 weeks while being monitored for the coronavirus.
The government has put about 200 US citizens repatriated from Wuhan under legal quarantine at March Air Reserve Base in Southern California. The group includes State Department personnel, family members, children and other Americans. It’s the first time such a policy has been used in the U.S. since the 1960s, when a quarantine order was issued to stop the spread of smallpox.
The US State Department is working to arrange additional flights for US citizens still in Wuhan, where the Chinese outbreak of coronavirus is centered, according to an official with knowledge of the plans. The US government effort follows the cancellation of flights by major US carriers from much of China.
Seats would be offered as they become available, an official said. The State Department is encouraging all American citizens in China to register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment (STEP) program at step.state.gov to receive updates on evacuation flights.
To date, only 1 in 6 US cases of the coronavirus have been detected through airport screening.