Travelers From West Africa Can Only Arrive at 5 US Airports

Those coming from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone to go through special screening
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2014 1:27 PM CDT
Travelers From West Africa Can Only Arrive at 5 US Airports
In this Oct. 16, 2014, photo, US Coast Guard health technician Nathan Wallenmeyer, left, and CBP supervisor Sam Ko conduct prescreening on a passenger, right, who arrived from Sierra Leone at O'Hare.   (AP Photo/U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Melissa Maraj)

In a move that may quell some of the fears of Ebola breaking out around the US, the Department of Homeland Security announced today that all travelers coming from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea—the region in West Africa where at least 4,500 people have died from the disease, notes the CDC—must arrive here at one of five airports, NBC News reports. "Enhanced" screening procedures are already in place at JFK, Newark, Washington-Dulles, Chicago O'Hare, and Atlanta airports, and they're the airports through which 94% of travelers from those countries arrive; about 150 people arrive from the region every day, NBC News notes.

The screening at these five locations includes taking passengers' temperatures and asking whether they may have been exposed to Ebola, USA Today reports—but some state lawmakers want even more rigorous measures in place. Texas Rep. Michael McCaul wants to suspend visas from those three countries, while Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte wants to "temporarily ban foreign nationals from entering the United States from Ebola-ravaged countries." As for the new requirement, Jeh Johnson, secretary of homeland security, hopes to keep airport inconveniences to a minimum, saying, "We are working closely with the airlines to implement these restrictions with minimal travel disruption. If not already handled by the airlines, the few impacted travelers should contact the airlines for rebooking, as needed." (More Ebola stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.