Friday, January 31, 2020
NPR is reporting that President Trump declared that coronavirus has become a public health emergency in the US and banned travel from China effective Sunday, February 2.
The declaration of a public health emergency — which will become effective Sunday at 5 p.m. ET — enables the government to take several temporary measures to contain the spread of the virus, which so far has been confirmed in six people in the U.S.
The first action is that U.S. citizens who have been in Hubei province China in the past 14 days will be subject to 14 days of mandatory quarantine if they travel back to the United States. This expands on an annoucnment earlier today that American citizens who had evacuated from Wuhan earlier in the week would be quarantined for 14 days at March Air Reserve Base in Southern California. This would be the first time in 50 years the U.S. has instituted a quarantine order.
The U.S. is additionally temporarily suspending entry of travelers who are not U.S. citizens if they are deemed to pose a risk of transmitting the virus. "Foreign nationals other than immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have traveled in China in the last 14 days will be denied entry into United States," HHS Secretary Azar said.
Third, U.S. citizens who have been in other areas of mainland China in the past 14 days will be subject to screening at the airport of entry and heightened monitoring for 14 days.
The text of the Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus is here.