Airlines scramble to enforce new coronavirus travel restrictions in ‘imperfect system’

Airlines scramble to enforce new coronavirus travel restrictions in ‘imperfect system’
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The Trump administration’s sweeping new travel restrictions aimed at combating the spread of the new coronavirus — announced Friday — took effect on Sunday afternoon, leaving airline employees around the world scrambling to enforce them. More than 17,200 people have fallen ill to the coronavirus worldwide so far, killing at least 361 people in China and a 44-year-old man in the Philippines, according to international health officials. The new travel rules prohibit foreigners who have been in China in the last 14 days from entering the U.S., unless they are an immediate family member of a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident or meet other exemptions. The U.S. is imposing a 14-day quarantine on citizens who have visited China’s Hubei province — where Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, is located — and self-quarantines for citizens who have been in China over the last 14 days. Hong Kong and Macau are exempt, according to the president’s proclamation. The Transportation Security Administration on Sunday instructed airlines with flights to the U.S. from other countries to screen passengers before boarding to find out whether they’ve been in China recently, according to a security directive that was reviewed by CNBC. Check-in and gate agents or other employees are required to question travelers, look through recent reservations and possibly their passports for entry or exit stamps, according to the order, […]

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