November 17, 2014
An increasing number of countries are imposing entry bans on people who have visited Ebola affected countries. While the earlier implementation of travel restrictions was mostly limited to Africa itself and several countries in the Caribbean region, in the last few weeks additional bans have also been put in place by a few countries in the Asia Pacific region, as well as by Canada and, to a lesser extent, the USA.
Since our Global Brief from October 20, 2014 on the Ebola related travel restrictions, travelers are affected by the following additional entry bans:
Mauritania on 25 October closed its border with neighboring Mali after an Ebola-related death in the border town of Kayes (Mali).
Canada The authorities on 31 October suspended the issuance of visas to travelers who have recently visited West African countries affected by the Ebola virus. The action covers those who have travelled to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in the past three months.
The Dominican Republic has banned entry to travelers who have been in the following countries in the past 30 days: Sierra Leone, Senegal, Liberia, Guinea, and Nigeria, as well as any countries that the World Health Organization has deemed to be affected by the Ebola virus.
Haiti has banned entry to travelers who have been to Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone in the past 28 days. Travelers who have been to these countries more than 28 days before travel to Haiti must present a government-certified health certificate and the results of a blood test for the Ebola virus upon arrival. It is uncertain at this time how these measures will be carried out or enforced.
Jamaica imposed an entry ban from 16 October onwards for travelers arriving from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as those who have visited these countries within the four weeks prior to their arrival. In addition, any Jamaican national who travels to the aforementioned countries will be quarantined for 28 days on return.
Panama on 22 October banned the entry of travelers who have visited Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in the past 21 days. The ban will remain in place until the three countries are declared Ebola-free.
St Maarten has said that visitors who have travelled to, from or through Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in the past 21 days will be denied entry into or transit through the country. Individuals returning from the above countries who live in St Maarten will be allowed to enter on condition that they agree to be quarantined for at least 21 days upon arrival.
Suriname has banned entry to foreign travelers who have been to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in the past 21 days, unless they can present an ‘internationally recognized health certificate’ clearing them of the virus. No further details are available at this time.
The United States announced that beginning 22 October, any passengers beginning their travels in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea will only be able to enter the country through the following airports: JFK International Airport (JFK, New York state), Newark International Airport (EWR, New Jersey), Dulles International Airport (IAD, Washington, DC), Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL, Georgia) or Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD, Illinois).
Australia has suspended the issuance of visas to travelers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Travelers from these countries who hold permanent visas can enter Australia if they have been quarantined for 21 days prior to arrival, while those who have received non-permanent visas and who have not departed for Australia will have their visas cancelled.
North Korea has banned foreign tourists since 24 October over fears of ebola; the ban applies to all entry points and border crossings. All other visitors will reportedly be required to spend 21 days in government-supervised quarantine, regardless of their country of origin or point of departure.
Singapore: The authorities have announced that from 5 November onwards nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will require visas to enter the country. The government also said that nationals of the three countries, as well as citizens of Congo (DRC) and Mali, will be screened for fever at all entry points. Other travelers who have visited these countries recently will also be screened.
On a more positive note, the following restrictions have been lifted:
Gambia on 1 September suspended entry of persons who have visited Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone or Nigeria in the 21 days prior to travel. These restrictions have been lifted as of 11 November. Gambia is also no longer banning the entry of flights from these countries.
Information contained in this Blog was prepared using information obtained from International SOS (17 November 2014), Travel restrictions, flight operations and screening, retrieved from: link.