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10 sept. 2020 | 12h41 UTC

US: Authorities to cease COVID-19 screening for international arrivals from September 14 /update 87

United States of America Alerte de sécurité

US authorities to cease COVID-19 screening for international travellers from September 14; heed official instructions

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/9/2020, 12h00 until 1/10/2020, 11h59 (America/New_York). COUNTRY/REGION United States

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Event

US officials announced that coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing for international arrivals will cease, effective from Monday, September 14. Under the enhanced measure, travelers arriving into the United States are sent to health screeners who take their temperatures and conduct a basic health screening with questions about typical COVID-19 symptoms. After the health screening, passengers proceed through passport control and customs. Since mid-March, international flights from select high-risk countries, including much of Europe, China, and Iran, among other regions, have been funneled through 15 designated airports in the United States. Several agencies have been involved in aspects of the screenings, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Currently, the government does not conduct any screenings of domestic airline passengers.

As of Wednesday, September 9, there are 6,363,300 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 190,885 associated fatalities in the country. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.

Context

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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. 

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.

Advice

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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