DHS Issues Notice of Arrival Restrictions for Travelers Returning from Impacted Countries

On March 13, 2020, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf issued a Notice of Arrival Restrictions providing guidance on how American citizens, lawful permanent residents, and their immediate family members1 will be processed upon their return from certain European countries, China, and Iran.

Effective immediately, those returning from all restricted countries will now be required to travel through the following 13 airports: 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; and Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia.2

Upon arrival, travelers will proceed to standard customs processing. They will then continue to enhanced entry screening where passengers will be asked about their medical history, current condition, and contact information for local health authorities. Passengers will be given written guidance about COVID-19 and directed to proceed to their final destination, and immediately home-quarantine in accordance with CDC best practices.3

Based on the proclamation published on Saturday, March 14, 2020, which includes new restrictions for foreign nationals physically present in the United Kingdom (excluding overseas territories) and the Republic of Ireland, it can be expected that U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and their immediate families who have been physically present in these two additional countries will likely be subject to the same enhanced screening process.

Update:  As expected, on March 16, 2020, flights from the United Kingdom and Ireland were added to the previously announced arrival restrictions that are still in effect for the Schengen Area, China, and Iran, and individuals not barred proclamation (i.e., U.S. citizens, LPRS, and immediate families) are subject to an identical screening/re-routing process upon arrival in U.S.

Employers should be aware of continued potential disruption of employment. U.S. employees returning to the U.S. from travel that has involved physical presence in affected countries within the past fourteen (14) days will be directed to undergo additional screening and at-home quarantine measures. It is important to monitor the travel of your employees during this time. These changes can lead to very fluid situations and may be subject to modifications.

See Footnotes

1 See President Donald Trump, Proclamation—Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus, White House (March 11, 2020) (Proclamation defines exempt individuals who would fall in scope of “immediate family” as spouse of U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident; parent or legal guardian of unmarried U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident under age 21; sibling of U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (provided both are unmarried and under age 21); or child, foster child, or ward of U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident)).

2 See U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Fact Sheet: DHS Notice of Arrival Restrictions on China, Iran and Schengen Countries of Europe, DHS (March 13, 2020), available at https://www.dhs.gov/news/2020/03/13/fact-sheet-dhs-notice-arrival-restrictions-china-iran-and-schengen-countries-europe.

3 Id.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.