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DHS to Limit U.S. Entry from West Africa to 5 Airports

89.3 KPCC   in 
October 21, 2014

Everyone coming to the United States from the three West African countries at the center of the Ebola outbreak will now be screened for the deadly disease at one of five airports, the Homeland Security Department said Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Customs and Border Protection officers at New York’s Kennedy, Newark Liberty, Washington’s Dulles, Chicago’s O’Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta airports started screening people arriving from West Africa. The screening includes using no-touch thermometers to determine if travelers have a temperature, one symptom of a possible Ebolainfection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also working with DHS on the screening.

There are no direct flights to the United States from West Africa. About 94 percent of the roughly 150 people traveling daily from West Africa to the U.S. arrive at the one of the five airports. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Tuesday that now everyone traveling from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea will have to land in the U.S. at one of the five airports and then fly on to their destination.

The new requirement means that people traveling from the region who were not originally passing through one of those five airports will have to rebook their flights.

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