The novel coronavirus has been declared a public health emergency in the United States,
by the Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the White House on Friday.
Once the declaration goes into effect at 5 p.m. ET Sunday, US citizens returning to the United States who have been in China’s Hubei province in the two weeks before their return will be subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine, Azar said.
US citizens returning from the rest of mainland China in the two weeks prior will have to face a health screening at one of seven ports of entry, he said. Those citizens will also be under quarantine for upto two weeks to ensure they pose no health risk.
If no symptoms are detected, the individuals will be allowed to travel to their home and will be monitored by local health departments in isolation at home.
The seven airports are in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta.
President Donald Trump’s administration also restricted those who has been in China recently, to enter the U.S.
“The president has signed a presidential proclamation,” Azar said during a news conference, “temporarily suspending the entry into the United States of foreign nationals who pose a risk of transmitting the 2019 novel coronavirus.”
The proclamation applies to anyone other than immediate family of U.S. citizens.
The announcement comes just a few hours after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention announced all 195 American evacuees who flew from Wuhan to the U.S. this week are monitored under federal quarantine for 14 days.