On Wednesday, June 24, authorities in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut announced that arrivals from eight US states would be required to go into self-isolation for 14 days in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The states affected are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah. Those found breaking the quarantine could face fines of $1000, rising to $5000 for repeat violations. The decision comes following a decrease in COVID-19 cases in the US' northeast, while states in the south and west of the US have seen a sharp increase in confirmed cases.
New York City (NYC) entered phase two of reopening on Monday, June 22, amid a gradual easing of COVID-19 measures. Offices, in-store retail, outdoor dining, hair salons, and barbershops reopened on Monday. The rest of New York state has also moved to phase three reopening, which allows indoor dining at restaurants and personal-care services.
The US government announced that land border restrictions with Canada and Mexico will be extended through July 21. The measures 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 who have transited through these locations in the past 14 days, are not permitted to enter the US as of Thursday, June 25. 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 Thursday, June 25, health authorities in the US have confirmed 2,381,361 COVID-19 cases and 121,979 associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected in 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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