Health Alert – Coronavirus and Suspension of Entry into the United States

Location: Malaysia

Event:  Health Alert – Coronavirus and Suspension of Entry into the United States

The Department of State has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory for China following a decision by the World Health Organization to declare the coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.  Do not travel to China due to the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China.  Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.  Commercial carriers have reduced or suspended routes to and from China.

The United States has imposed travel restrictions and quarantines on individuals traveling from China.  Foreign nationals who have visited China within 14 days of seeking admission to the United States will be denied entry, with the exception of lawful permanent residents, immediate family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, and certain others.  Read the Presidential Proclamation.

U.S. citizens who have visited China’s Hubei Province within 14 days before reentry to the United States will face a mandatory quarantine, while citizens returning from other parts of mainland China will face advanced screening and a self-imposed quarantine to monitor their health.  U.S. permanent residents, immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents and others exempted from the entry ban are also expected to be subject to quarantine.

The travel restrictions are slated to take effect on Sunday, February 2, at 5pm Eastern time.

On January 23, 2020, the Department of State ordered the departure of all non-emergency U.S. personnel and their family members from Wuhan.  The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Hubei province.  On January 29, 2020, the Department of State allowed for the voluntary departure of non-emergency personnel and family members of U.S. government employees from China. On January 31, 2020, the Department of State ordered the departure of all family members under age 21 of U.S. personnel in China.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Warning for all of China.  The CDC has published suggestions on how to reduce your risk of contracting the Novel Coronavirus. Visit the CDC webpage for expanded information about the Novel Coronavirus, including prevention, signs and symptoms, and treatment.

Additional information regarding the novel coronavirus in Malaysia can be found at the Ministry of Health’s website.

Actions to Take:

  • Avoid all nonessential travel to China.
  • Check with the airlines regarding any flight cancellations and/or restrictions on flying.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • If you traveled to China and feel sick, or were exposed to someone who was in China in the last six weeks who has fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, seek medical care right away. For the most up-to-date information, please consult the CDC website.
  • U.S. citizens are urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts.

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