The CDC is warning travelers about visiting 5 countries because of the coronavirus. Here's the US government's guidance for Americans.
The US State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued travel notices for countries affected by the novel coronavirus. As of Wednesday, the coronavirus had killed at least 2,760 people and infected more than 81,000. While the vast majority of cases and deaths are in China, the virus has spread to 56 countries. The US State Department has issued its most severe threat-level warning for China, strongly recommending that all US citizens avoid traveling to the country. Here's the US government's guidance for countries that have reported cases of the virus.
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The US State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued travel notices to inform Americans about health problems that might affect their safety abroad. Because of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, both government agencies have issued multiple health warnings for affected countries. As of Wednesday, cases of the virus had been reported in at least 56 countries, with China hit the hardest.
The US State Department uses four levels of safety guidance to let Americans know what to expect from traveling to affected countries, from Level 1: Exercise normal precautions to Level 4: Do not travel. The CDC's guidelines range from Level 1: Practice usual precautions to Level 3: Avoid all nonessential travel. Here are travel precautions and guidelines the US government has issued for countries affected by the coronavirus.SEE ALSO: The novel coronavirus has spread to 41 countries. Here's how to protect yourself while traveling. DON'T MISS: The coronavirus death toll has reached 2,760, with more than 81,000 infected. Here's everything we know about the outbreak. Cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported in at least 41 countries.
If traveling to any areas where disease transmission is present, the CDC recommends that Americans:
Avoid sick people Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth without washing your hands Wash your hands often
Business Insider's Aria Bendix also compiled a useful guide on how to protect yourself from the virus while traveling. The CDC has issued travel guidance for six countries and territories because of the coronavirus:
China (Level 3) South Korea (Level 3) Italy (Level 3) Iran (Level 3) Japan (Level 2) Hong Kong (Level 1)
The CDC cautions that any travelers returning from one of these areas who feel sick with a fever, cough, or shortness of breath should immediately seek medical help, call ahead before going to the doctor, avoid travel, avoid contact with others, and exercise increased sanitation. The CDC has issued an additional warning for four countries that are at risk of community spread:
Singapore Thailand Taiwan Vietnam
The agency explained: "Community spread means people have been infected with the virus, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected. At this time, the extent of virus spread is not sustained or widespread enough to meet the criteria for a travel health notice." The following countries or territories have reported cases of the coronavirus but the CDC has not issued travel notices for them:
Afghanistan Australia Bahrain Belgium Cambodia Canada Egypt Finland France Germany India Iraq Israel Kuwait Lebanon Malaysia Nepal Oman Philippines Russia Spain Sri Lanka Sweden United Arab Emirates UK US
In some cases, the US embassies in these places have issued further guidance. You can check for that on the State Department's website, and some alerts are linked above. Furthermore, the CDC "recommends that all travelers reconsider cruise ship voyages to or within Asia."
Some cruises have had their itineraries changed or canceled. You can find out if your cruise has been affected by the coronavirus by checking social media, your cruise line's website, or your email. Business Insider's Mark Matousek compiled full instructions. The CDC issued its highest health notice for mainland China (Level 3: Avoid nonessential travel).
Because of widespread transmission of the novel coronavirus in China, the CDC and US State Department recommend that travelers avoid all travel to the country. The US State Department encourages any Americans in China to depart the country by commercial means and recommends that US citizens remaining in China spend as much time as possible at home and away from public gatherings. At least 73 airlines have canceled flights to China amid coronavirus fears, and the US government evacuated some US citizens from the country. The White House has barred foreign nationals who have been to China in the past 14 days from entering the US, is quarantining Americans who recently traveled to China's Hubei province, and is asking Americans who visited other parts of China to "self-quarantine." The CDC warns that older adults and people with chronic medical conditions have an increased risk of the disease. Furthermore, the agency has outlined that those arriving in the US from China will undergo health screenings and that travelers who have been to China within the past 14 days must enter through specific airports and participate in monitoring by health officials until 14 days after they left China. By February 28, China had reported more than 78,000 cases and at least 2,700 deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The CDC also issued its highest Level 3 health notice for South Korea.
The CDC recommends Americans avoid traveling to South Korea, which has seen a particularly high transmission of the coronavirus. It warned that older adults and those with chronic medical conditions could be at risk of severe symptoms from the virus. The State Department also warned: "If suspected to have Coronavirus in South Korea, you may face travel delays, quarantine, and extremely expensive medical costs." By February 28, South Korea had reported more than 2,300 ases and 13 deaths from the disease. The CDC upgraded its health notice for Italy to the highest warning (Level 3: Avoid nonessential travel) as cases continued to rise in the country.
As of February 28, Italy is the most infected country outside of China. With more than 880 infections and 21 deaths, the CDC listed the country as a Level 3 threat, and recommended Americans avoid non-essential travel. On Monday, the CDC listed the country as a Level 2 threat, and recommends practicing increased precaution. At that point only those who were "high-risk" were advised to avoid non-essential travel. Additionally, the CDC has warned that older adults or those with preexisting medical conditions could be at a higher risk of severe disease. The US State Department said the US Consulate General in Milan would suspend routine visa services until March 2 because of reduced staff, on Monday. Routine and emergency services for Americans in Italy will continue at the US Consulate General in Milan, and full services are available at the US Embassy in Rome and at the consulates general in Florence and Naples. The country has put a dozen towns on lockdown to contain the spread, affecting about 50,000 people. The two most infected areas regions are the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto, which contain the major cities of Milan and Venice. But the virus has also spread farther south, with regions including Tuscany and the island of Sicily also reporting cases. The CDC has also upgraded its guidance for Iran (Level 3: Avoid non-essential travel).
The number of coronavirus cases in Iran has increased recently, and the CDC increased its threat level because the country "is experiencing sustained community spread." The agency recommends Americans avoid all non-essential travel to the country. Furthermore, the US State Department classifies Iran as a Level 4: Do not travel because of what it says is a high risk of kidnapping, arrest, and detention of US citizens. The US government does not have formal diplomatic relations with Iran and says it is therefore unable to provide emergency services to US citizens and strongly recommends avoiding travel to the country. By February 28, Iran had reported 388 cases and 34 deaths from the disease. The CDC issued its next-highest level for Japan (Level 2: Practice enhanced precautions).
The CDC and the US State Department warn that Japan is experiencing an increase in transmission of the coronavirus and recommend that older adults and people with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel. By February 28, Japan had reported more than 228 cases and four deaths from the disease. The CDC issued its lowest threat for Hong Kong (Level 1: Practice usual precautions).
The CDC does not suggest travelers cancel or postpone trips to Hong Kong at this time, listing it as its lowest "watch" level. The US State Department reported that in early February that the Hong Kong government began enforcing a 14-day quarantine for anyone arriving in Hong Kong who had visited mainland China within the previous two weeks. By February 26, Hong Kong had reported 89 cases and two deaths from the disease. On February 25, the CDC warned that Americans should brace for the rapid spread of the virus.
The CDC warned that the spread of the disease in the US could increase quickly and that Americans should be prepared. As of February 26, the coronavirus has infected 57 people in the US. The Trump administration has sent a request to Congress for $2.5 billion be allocated to coronavirus relief, including funds for vaccine development, protective equipment, and other response measures. So far, cases have been reported in the following states:
Arizona California Illinois Massachusetts Texas Washington Wisconsin
All of the people infected with COVID-19 in the US are in isolation in hospitals or quarantined at US military bases.
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