With the upcoming Lunar New Year, an estimated 3 billion trips will be taken to areas in and around China over the 40-day holiday period. In light of the recent Coronavirus outbreak, EIG provides the following guidance regarding travel to these areas:
Following an emergency meeting held by the World Health Organization (WHO), local Chinese authorities have decided to quarantine Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the Coronavirus outbreak, by limiting travel in and out of the city. Any travel to or from Wuhan, China, should be canceled immediately.
Updated on Thursday, January 23 at 1:50 PM: Chinese government authorities plan to limit travel to nearby cities, including Huanggang, which is 30 miles east of Wuhan and has seven million residents. Rail stations in Ezhou will be closed and travel restrictions will be imposed on Chibi and Zhijiang.
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has currently categorized the situation as an Alert – Level 2: Practice Enhanced Precautions by instructing travelers in the region to avoid contact with sick people, avoid animals and animal products, and to wash hands or use hand sanitizers frequently. Older travelers should discuss traveling to these regions with their health care providers as they are at a higher risk. This alert can also be found on the US Embassy in China’s website.
For anyone who has or will travel to areas where the Coronavirus is present, expect to be questioned about your travel and health upon re-entry to the US. You may be screened for symptoms, and if suspected of carrying the virus, you could be potentially quarantined for testing.
Screening checkpoints are present at LAX, JFK, SFO, O’Hare, and Hartsfield-Jackson airports. All travelers re-entering the US from Wuhan, China on direct or connecting flights will be redirected to one of these airports for screening.
Before departing the US to travel to any area affected by the Coronavirus, please first check the State Department’s travel advisories.
We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they are issued.