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Coronavirus: DHS Announces New Travel Restrictions on Certain Inbound U.S. Flights and Travelers from China, Including Medical Screening and Quarantine

February 3, 2020

New Measures for Rerouting Flights and Passengers from China

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced over the weekend that to combat the spread of the Coronavirus, all flights departing after 5 pm EST on February 2, 2020 from China, and all passengers traveling from China will be routed through one of 11 U.S. airports where they will be required to make first entry and be screened:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington
  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii
  • Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), California
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia
  • Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Michigan

Note that per DHS notice, the authorization for rerouting to EWR, DFW, and DTW begins February 3, 2020. 

Travelers will pay no additional costs for any rerouting. Notably, flight crew, and flights carrying cargo-only are excluded from these new measures.

Screening, Quarantine Requirements Imposed; Foreign Nationals Who Visited China Will Be Denied Entry

These 11 airports will implement the administration’s recently announced Coronavirus screening and quarantine protocol, under which:

  • U.S. citizens who have been in Hubei province within 14 days of their return will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine.
  • U.S. citizens who have been in other areas of mainland China within 14 days of their return will undergo proactive entry health screening and up to 14 days of self-quarantine with health monitoring.
  • Foreign nationals (other than immediate family of U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and flight crew) who have traveled in China within 14 days of their arrival will generally be denied entry into the U.S.

These restrictions will have immediate and wide- ranging impacts for businesses operating internationally, particularly those that rely on U.S. citizens and foreign nationals to travel to and from China and the United States. Given the fast-changing nature of this outbreak, multinational companies should continue to seek guidance from counsel to assist their employees, contractors, suppliers, and business visitors as they adjust their international business needs in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

For more information, please contact the professional(s) listed below, or your regular Crowell & Moring contact.

Evan Y. Chuck
Partner – Shanghai, Los Angeles
Phone: +1.213.310.7999
Robert Holleyman
Partner and C&M International President & CEO – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1.202.624.2505
Nicole Janigian Simonian
Partner – Shanghai, Los Angeles
Phone: +1.213.310.7998
Alex Rosen
Associate – New York
Phone: +1.212.895.4348