International travelers entering the US will no longer receive COVID-19 health screening and will no longer need to fly to any of the 13 airports where the advanced screening measures were carried out.
The move, which was first reported by Yahoo News on Wednesday and has since been confirmed by other news outlets, will end at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, September 14, at 12:01 p.m. – almost exactly six months later – they were deployed.
As early as mid-March, after President Donald Trump issued a presidential proclamation banning entry from Europe, people exempted from the ban (including US citizens, legal permanent residents, and their family members) had to enter the US through such a declaration are returning from 13 US airports for advanced immigration screening. The conditions also applied to those traveling from Brazil, Iran, and China.
Those 13 airports are:
- Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS), Massachusetts
- 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
Screenings included asking passengers about their medical history and current health, taking their temperature, and soliciting their contact information, which should be made available to local health officials – something that can come in handy for contact tracing, Yahoo reported.
Initially, passengers were asked to drive to their final destination for 14 days and place themselves in quarantine, according to instructions from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In a story first reported by AFAR, last month the CDC silently dropped its 14-day quarantine recommendation after the trip.
And now the health check-ups at the airport are also being stopped.
CNN reported that a TSA official told the news agency that a draft of the new international arrivals guidelines said fewer than 15 of the 675,000 passengers that were screened had COVID-19.
The move is the latest in a series of pivots easing restrictions on international travel amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to the CDC easing its tour guidance on quarantines, the U.S. State Department said last month it was no longer advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel, and instead of reverting to country-specific travel advice.
On March 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of State’s comprehensive Global Level 4 Health Advisory was established advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
For the latest country-specific updates and notices, see the US Department of State website.
US citizens traveling overseas can also search for the country or countries they want to visit at travel.state.gov.