REPORT: Travelers raise alarm over coronavirus screening at US airports

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BY TEAM DML / MARCH 27, 2020 /

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Americans who have recently returned to the U.S. say they have received little or inconsistent guidance from airport and government officials about self-quarantining and social distancing, raising concerns about coronavirus screening practices at transport hubs. The experiences described by travelers, coupled with the federal policies in place, put the U.S. at odds with many of the precautions other countries are taking to limit the spread of coronavirus. Health officials who have been setting guidelines for Americans in the U.S. say there are still risks of more cases being brought into the country.

The article goes on to state the following:

 “I know we’re going to be successful in putting this under control,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said on Wednesday. “But I think we’re going to have to remember is that we don’t want to import cases in.”


Travelers who spoke with The Hill said that their return to the U.S. raised concerns about how the threat of coronavirus spread is being handled at American airports, where people can be in close quarters for extended periods of time.

Americans returning from Peru — after being under strict quarantine since March 16 — described how everyone at the Peruvian airport, including staff and travelers, was wearing masks, making the arrival in the U.S. all the more surprising. Peru had fewer than 100 cases when it closed its borders on March 16 and increased to at least 480 cases over the course of a week.

“We went through immigration services [in the U.S.], the guy who processed us wasn’t wearing a mask, but we were,” Tina Kuo, who returned from Peru through Miami International Airport, told The Hill.

Americans returning from Guatemala, which has only a couple dozen cases, said airport attendants were methodically scanning travelers with infrared thermometers. Tom Wojcik, who was part of a U.S.-chartered evacuation flight out of Guatemala, said he had his temperature checked at the airport by a Guatemalan attendant and handed a slip of paper with the degrees.

“Nothing was done with the papers” after arriving in the U.S., he wrote in an email. “It remains in my wallet. No one in Miami customs ever inquired about the status of our health, we were whisked through and sent to our respective destinations.”


*Coronavirus cases worldwide: 552,943

*Total confirmed deaths: 25,045

*Recovered patients: 128,706



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