Homeland Security issues additional travel restrictions, screening procedures

March 16, 2020

Immigration Alert

Author(s): Rachel S. Winkler, John Sandweg

Effective 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, March 16, the United States has added the United Kingdom and Ireland to the list of countries subject to a travel ban. Pursuant to this designation, foreign nationals who have visited the United Kingdom or Ireland within the past 14 days will be prohibited from entering the United States. As with the prior travel bans, certain travelers are exempted from this restriction, including American citizens, legal permanent residents, and their immediate family members.

As part of the implementation of this travel ban, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued additional guidance outlining the process for exempt travelers (American citizens, lawful permanent residents, and their immediate family members) to return home after recently visiting certain European countries, the United Kingdom, Ireland, China, or Iran.

Effective for flights taking off after 11:59 p.m. EDT on Friday, March 13th, exempt travelers returning from all restricted countries will be redirected through dedicated airports for enhanced entry screening following standard customs processing. Passengers will be asked about their medical history, current condition, and asked for contact information for local health authorities. Passengers will then be given written guidance about COVID-19 and directed to proceed to their final destination, and immediately home-quarantine in accordance with CDC best practices.

Returning passengers will be required to travel through the following 13 airports:

  • Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS), Massachusetts/li>
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Michigan
  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York
  • Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), California
  • Miami International Airport (MIA), Florida
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington
  • Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia

If you qualify for an exemption under this as an immediate family member of a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, be prepared to have documentation available to demonstrate your relationships to the citizen or permanent resident.

Restricted countries include the United Kingdom, Ireland, China, Iran, and 26 European countries in the Schengen Area: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of the firm. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel. If you have any questions or require any further information regarding these or other related matters, please contact your regular Nixon Peabody LLP representative. This material may be considered advertising under certain rules of professional conduct.

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