The US Is Placing New Restrictions On Travellers From West Africa

Airport screening ebolaAP Photo / Abdeljalil BounharA health screening worker shows the way to passengers at the arrivals hall of an airport.

The US will begin requiring travellers from three countries in West Africa to arrive at one of five airports, USA Today reports.

Anyone travelling to the US from Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea will be required to arrive at Washington’s Dulles, Chicago’s O’Hare, New Jersey’s Newark, New York’s John F. Kennedy, or Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airports.

About 150 people per day arrive in the US from these countries, and 94% of them were already coming through these airports, according to USA Today.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention will send extra staff to these five airports to help with the screening of passengers entering the country, according to a press release from the agency.

The government has come under increasing pressure to contain Ebola in the US after a man contracted the disease in Liberia and flew to the US before showing any symptoms.

“We work to continuously increase the safety of Americans,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a press release. “We believe these new measures will further protect the health of Americans, understanding that nothing we can do will get us to absolute zero risk until we end the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.”

Ebola has hit Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea the hardest. The deadly virus is still far from being contained in these countries, and thousands of people have fallen ill already during this outbreak.

All travellers coming into the US from those three countries will be taken aside for screening, during which staff will observe them for signs of illness, ask them a series of health and exposure questions, and take their temperature, according to the CDC release.

Two people have contracted Ebola in the US, both of whom are nurses who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan. He came to the US for a visit and became sick shortly after he arrived. Duncan died earlier this month.

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