On Sunday, May 24, US officials announced a temporary ban on arrivals from Brazil to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Non-US citizens who have been in Brazil in the two weeks before they request entry to the US will also be denied entry. The ban will take effect on Thursday, May 28. The restriction will not apply to legal permanent residents of the US, or the spouse, child, or parents of residents or citizens. Trade between the two countries will be exempt from the new regulation.
Officials have urged social distancing over the Memorial Day weekend nationwide from Sunday, May 24, to Monday, May 25, as crowds are expected to gather outdoors. The warning comes as all 50 states move towards reopening, with Connecticut becoming the last state to start lifting restrictions on Wednesday, May 20, reopening shops and restaurants.
Multiple demonstrations have been held in states across the US since mid-April to denounce stay-at-home orders and other measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Attendance at the demonstrations varies, with hundreds of people participating at times. The protests are generally held at the state capitols and usually remain peaceful; however, minor scuffles between demonstrators and police officers have been reported at some rallies. Similar rallies are likely to be held across the US over the near term as COVID-19 restrictions remain in place. A heightened police presence and localized disruptions are anticipated around all associated protests. A ban on nonessential travel through the Mexican and Canadian borders remains in place until Monday, June 22. The ban does not apply to air travel.
As of Sunday, May 24, there have been 1,642,021 cases confirmed nationwide, with 97,698 associated fatalities.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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