Airlines Rush to Implement New Coronavirus Screening Protocols

By Anna Breuer on 3 February 2020
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New U.S. restrictions intended to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus on travel went into effect Sunday afternoon

The United States is barring any foreign national who has traveled to China in the past 14 days from entering the United States. The temporary rule exempts immediate family members of American citizens and permanent residents.  The regulations were put into place after Thursday’s declaration by the World Health Organization of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The move has left airline employees scrambling to comply.  While U.S. carriers including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines have suspended non-stop flights to and from China, it is still possible for someone to have traveled on another airline to an intermediate point before boarding a flight to the United States.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration has told airlines with flights to the United States from other countries to screen all passengers before they board to determine if they have recently been in China.

Airlines are telling check-in and gate agents to question passengers about recent trips, look at passport exit or entry stamps, and check recent reservations to make a determination.  Agents won’t have to rely on passenger-provided information alone: they must also work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The TSA, which has no involvement in screening U.S. bound international passengers, said it is “requiring carriers to enforce portions of the president’s proclamation that limit who may board a commercial aircraft destined for the United States.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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