The announcement has since been amended with additional important information — including for citizens of the United States who are returning from Europe and China, passengers of cruise ships, and students who are currently outside of the United States; as well as updated links to other official Internet web sites of the Department of State which contain important information and details that are pertinent to travel during the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic.
At present the Department of State is making every effort to assist U.S. citizens overseas who wish to return to the United States. If you wish to return to the United States, you should make arrangements to do so now. In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens should arrange for immediate return to the United States by commercial carrier, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.
Information for Travelers Returning to the United States:
U.S. Citizens Returning from Europe
U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents will be permitted to return from the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the European Schengen area. The Department of Homeland Security has issued instructions requiring U.S. passengers that have been in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Schengen area to travel through select airports where the U.S. Government has implemented enhanced screening procedures. See the our FAQs on the Presidential Proclamation on travel from Europe and DHS website for further details.
U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship at this time. CDC notes increased risk of infection of COVID-19 in a cruise ship environment. In order to curb the spread of COVID-19, many countries have implemented strict screening procedures that have denied port entry rights to ships and prevented passengers from disembarking. In some cases, local authorities have permitted disembarkation but subjected passengers to local quarantine procedures.
While the U.S. government has evacuated some cruise ship passengers in recent weeks, repatriation flights should not be relied upon as an option for U.S. citizens under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities. Cruise passengers should stay home for 14 days after returning from travel, monitor their health, and practice social distancing.
CDC notes that older adults and travelers with underlying health issues should avoid situations that put them at increased risk for more severe disease. This entails avoiding crowded places, avoiding non-essential travel such as long plane trips, and especially avoiding embarking on cruise ships. Passengers with plans to travel by cruise ship should contact their cruise line companies directly for further information and continue to monitor the Travel.state.gov website and see the latest information from the CDC.
U.S. Students Abroad
American students overseas should return to the United States as soon as possible. Students abroad may face unpredictable circumstances, quarantine, and sudden travel restrictions. Adequate health care may not be available overseas.
Whether you are experiencing an emergency overseas which involves the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic — or you have questions pertaining to assistance to depart an international location to return to the United States — contact the nearest United States embassy or consulate, or call the assistance call center:
A Level 4 advisory means to restrict travel — which is the highest level that warns Do Not Travel. The Department of State of the United States introduced an improved travel advisory system of sharing information on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 for travelers who are citizens of the United States — and this system is designed to provide clear, timely, and reliable safety and security information worldwide.
This article is the latest in a series pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — which is also known as COVID-19 or 2019-nCoV or SARS-CoV-2 — pandemic in an effort to get the facts out with information derived from reliable sources…
…as well as attempt to maintain a reasoned and sensible ongoing discussion towards how to resolve this pandemic.
Other articles at The Gate which pertain to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus include:
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