International Travelers No Longer Required to Enter at 15 Designated Airports

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On Monday, September 14, 2020, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it will no longer require passengers recently present in China (excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau), Iran, the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Brazil to land at one of 15 designated airports in order to undergo COVID health screenings. The agencies will also halt health screenings from passengers arriving from other countries.

Screenings for passengers on inbound international flights had been conducted at certain U.S. airports since January when the first cases of the coronavirus were reported from China. Since March, incoming international flights from select high-risk countries were directed to 15 designated airports in the United States. Upon arrival to the U.S., travelers from the designated regions were required to undergo health screenings, which take the passenger’s temperature, and to answer health screen COVID-19 questions.

The change does not modify the country-specific COVID travel bans for the countries listed above, the immigrant visa travel ban (Presidential Proclamation 10014), or the nonimmigrant visa travel ban (Presidential Proclamation 10052). The government’s announcement only relates to health screenings at the 15 designated U.S. airports. Affected travelers will still be required to obtain a National Interest Exemption (NIE) to travel to the United States.

Clark Hill is closely monitoring these new developments regarding international travel and will provide any new information as it arises.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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