New York City (NYC) Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday, June 18, that the city will begin phase two of reopening on Monday, June 22, amid a gradual easing of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) measures. He cited continued improvements in COVID-19 data as the justification for for further easing. Offices, in-store retail, outdoor dining, hair salons, and barbershops will be among the businesses allowed to reopen on Monday. As many as 300,000 employees could return to work on as a result of the resumption of commercial activity. The rest of New York state has already moved to phase three reopening, which allows indoor dining at restaurants and personal-care services; however, NYC experienced the bulk of COVID-19 cases and fatalities in the state.
On Thursday, June 18, California state Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the wearing of face masks outside the home will be compulsory in the state due to the coronavirus disease COVID-19 pandemic.
The US government announced that land border restrictions with Canada and Mexico will be extended through July 21. The measures, which were due to expire on Monday, June 22, limit border crossings to those who are entering for essential work such as truck drivers, healthcare professionals, and airline crew.
Travelers arriving from the Schengen Area, the UK, Iran, or China, or have transited through these locations in the past 14 days, are not permitted to enter the US as of Thursday, June 18. Nationals, permanent residents, or their spouses, are exempt from this ban. Those exempt must arrive in the US through one of 15 approved airports, which are listed here.
As of Saturday, June 20, authorities have confirmed 2,221,079 cases of COVID-19 in the country and 119,112 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.
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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