The Trump administration plans to implement further travel restrictions to ‘additional countries’ amid the quickly escalating number of coronavirus cases in the United States, according to a top transportation official.
Transportation Security Administration Administrator David Pekoske said Tuesday that further restrictions will soon be announced.
Transportation Security Administration Administrator David Pekoske claimed Tuesday that further travel restrictions to ‘additional countries’ would be announced soon
The countries to be targeted were not identified, with restrictions already in place and airlines suspending services to China, Iran, South Korea and Italy.
President Trump ruled out any restrictions on domestic travel.
Vice President Mike Pence is set to meet with airline executives Wednesday to discuss the coronavirus spread as major airlines such as Delta, United and American Airlines begin to waive change fees to virus hotspots because of traveler concerns.
There are now 120 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States and nine deaths, all in Washington state.
Health officials believe a quarter of the current coronavirus cases in the United States were transferred through US communities rather than travel.
Airlines and the Trump administration are currently in a dispute over sharing information on international travelers.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued a rule a few weeks ago as the coronavirus outbreak began to escalate globally, requiring airlines to provide certain information about international traveler.
They are still putting pressure for more informative passenger lists to be shared as the deaths in the United States reached nine people on Tuesday.
Travelers wear protective mask as they walk through O’Hare International Airport in Chicago
Japan Air Lines flight attendants wear masks as they walk through O’Hare International Airport
Cases across the world have risen to almost 93,000 and deaths to over 3,100
There are 120 cases of the coronavirus across the United States and nine deaths reported
Airlines continue to fight the release of information claiming that a government-run project would provide better results.
‘Building a website and developing an app will be the quickest way to obtain verifiable and accurate contact data,’ Nick Calio, Airlines for America president, told Politico.
Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to meet with airline executives on Wednesday to discuss the coronavirus.
The dispute continues as a lack of communication between different agencies and officials became evident on Tuesday.
Florida’s Department of Health hit out at New York City officials after they learned that a man who tested positive for the virus in Westchester County had recently traveled to Florida through media reports.
They are now looking into his travel history.
President Trump ruled out any restrictions on domestic travel within the United States
Nick Calio, Airlines for America president, pictured left, said the government should build a website to track international passengers while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ spokeswoman Helen Ferre, right, criticized New York authorities for not telling Florida about the new case
American travelers are choosing to keep their travel plans in place as coronavirus cases spike
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ spokeswoman Helen Ferre said New York officials were immediately contacted once the news of the man’s travel reached them.
‘New York state officials did not alert Florida officials,’ Ferre said. ‘DOH learned of this case when it was reported by the media.’
It is not known if the man was showing symptoms when in Florida.
Earlier that morning, Florida Senator Rick Scott had asked for the DHS to ’increase screening procedures’ at the state’s international airports.
What countries should you not fly to during the coronavirus outbreak?
The U.S. State Department has placed travel restrictions on flights to China, Iran, Italy and South Korea
Most commercial airlines have suspended their service to China which remains the hardest hit in the outbreak
Travel to Iran is also not advised
Delta and American Airlines have suspended service to Milan for several weeks as the Italian city is the capital of the region experiencing the countries worst outbreak
Travel to regions is also not advised as the country struggles to control the spread
Delta suspended US services to Shanghai and Beijing until April 30 and also reduced its service to Seoul in South Korea
‘We have to do everything we can to prevent the virus from spreading in our state — and that starts with the thorough screening of travelers,’ he said in a statement.
On Saturday, the United States increased its travel advisory to level four, the country’s highest level, and there are currently restrictions in place on travel to China and Iran, as well as regions of Italy, Mongolia and South Korea.
Airlines have suspended services to China and to Italy, as passengers avoid travel to areas of high risk.
Speaking before the Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday, Pekoske claimed that the coronavirus was ‘a top priority for everyone’ and that precautions were being taken to protect the TSA’s workforce.
‘My entire leadership team has worked tirelessly to ensure our workforce is protected and we have followed the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and OSHA. Both the Department and TSA have extensively messaged the workforce to ensure that everyone has the latest information,’ Pekoske said.
Cancellations on flights to China spiked in the past few weeks as the county initially struggled to contain the outbreak. Of the 3,000 deaths from the virus so far, the majority have been in mainland China.
Coronavirus fears have intensified in recent days as the US has recorded its first nine deaths from the disease and 120 cases are now confirmed. All of the deaths took place in Washington state but there is no current information on whether domestic air travel to and from the state will be suspended.
On Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence said the travel advisory alert was being raised to ‘Level 4 – Do Not Travel’ for the Veneto region and Lombardy, of which Milan is the capital, in Italy.
The Level 4 warning is the most severe that can be issued.
People wear face masks in Times Square New York on March 03, 2020
Passengers wear face masks to protect against the spread of the COVID-19. Airlines are being to waive change fees on travel as a result of the increasing outbreak of the virus
A flight crew from Cathay Pacific Airways, wearing protective masks, walk in the international terminal after arriving on a flight from Hong Kong at Los Angeles International Airport
The government said the decision was made ‘due to the level of community transmission of the virus and imposition of local quarantine procedures’.
Worldwide, the outbreak that began in Wuhan, China, has sickened at least 92,000 people and killed 3,128.
Cases have been reported in at least 60 countries.
Over the weekend, Delta and American Airlines suspended flights to Milan, the capital of the Lombardy region which has been hit hard by the Italian virus outbreak, the biggest in Europe.
Most commercial airlines including United American and Delta have suspended all flights to and from mainland China.
Delta suspended US services to Shanghai and Beijing until April 30 and also reduced its service to Seoul in South Korea.
Hawaiian Airlines suspended flights to South Korea but not to China. They are offering a free trip change to passengers flying to China before March 31.
Southwest Airlines has not yet suspended or canceled any flights.
JetBlue which flies in the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America, became the first US airline to offer waivers for all travel on Wednesday, announcing it would suspend change and cancellation fees for new flight bookings between February 27 and March 11 this year.
It was quickly joined by American Airlines and Alaska Airlines.
Delta announced Monday it would only waive the change fee on international flights for tickets issued this month.
Travelers should not expect money back on canceled flights as many travel insurers declared the coronavirus a ’known and foreseeable event’ in late January for which they will no offer refunds.
It is unclear how may passengers are tempting to change trips.
Health officials believe a quarter of the current coronavirus cases in the United States were transferred through US communities rather than travel and have vowed to test a million people by the end of the week.
An increase in testing for the coronavirus began shedding light on Monday on how the illness has spread in the United States with the death toll rising to nine and newly confirmed cases in New York, Georgia and New Hampshire pushing the tally to more than 100 across 15 states.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said he expects community-related cases to grow in the coming weeks.
‘My concern is as the next week or two or three go by, we’re going to see a lot more community-related cases,’ he said. ‘That’s of great concern.’
Passengers wear face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus as they arrive at LAX airport in Los Angeles as airlines continue domestic travel despite growing cases
Roughly a quarter of the 120 cases in the US have likely been transmitted through local communities and are not travel-related, according to health officials.
The news comes as data reveals American travelers are not yet panicking about travel and have kept their plans in place.
According to Skift.com, nearly 90% of U.S. travelers have yet to cancel plans due to the virus.
In a straw poll of the U.S. online adult population taken between February 27 and 29, of the 337 Americans questioned, only 12 percent had canceled their plans because of the coronavirus in the past 14 days.
These figures were gathered before cases in the United States jumped over 100 and before the nine deaths were reported.
Of those who canceled travel, 76 percent had canceled international travel of some kind.
Only ten percent of international travel to and from the United States is made by American travelers. When they do travel abroad, U.S. travelers tend to fly to Canada and Mexico where the outbreaks are not extreme.
Virus expert Tony Fauci gives Donald Trump a slide show about coronavirus vaccine to PROVE to skeptical president that National Institutes of Health ARE rushing to produce one
The president visited the National Institute of Health for a briefing on the containing the outbreak and Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who is a leading expert on HIV/AIDS, showed Trump a graph on their progress.
‘I just want to connect what we’ve been talking about the past few weeks,’ Fauci, 79, told the president.
Coronavirus had the shortest time frame when it came to testing a potential vaccine.
Dr. Anthony Fauci gave President Trump a slideshow to demonstrate how quickly the federal government is working to produce a vaccine for the coronavirus
‘This slide here, remember the time I mentioned that the fastest – from the time you get a pathogen – you know what it is – from the time you get a phase one trial for safety,’ Fauci said.
Phase one is the first round of testing on humans as Fauci reminded Trump, who has pushed for a vaccine to be quickly developed.
‘Remember doesn’t mean that is not the vaccine,’ he reminded the president.
He pointed to the slide, which showed the timetable of the discovery of various infectious diseases to when the first human trials were conducting, demonstrating how quickly officials were moving on the coronavirus outbreak.
The slide showed:
SARS – 20 months
H5N1 influenza – 11 months
H1N1 influenza – 4 months
Zika – 3.25 months
Coronavirus – 2 months
‘So that kind of thing is what this place is all about. It’s kind of like a SWAT team, of going out and responding to emerging microbes,’ Fauci told the president.
‘That’s fantastic. That’s great,’ Trump said.
The briefing came as the ninth person died of the coronavirus in the United States. All the deaths have been in Washington state.
New York City student is showing signs of coronavirus and is quarantined at home after his lawyer father tested positive for the disease
A New York City student whose father tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the state’s second confirmed case, is showing symptoms of the disease as the whole family is placed into quarantine.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed a 50-year-old lawyer who works in Manhattan and lives upstate had tested positive Tuesday, a day after a 39-year-old woman who had traveled to Iran was confirmed to be the first case.
The man is said to have an underlying respiratory condition, and is in a serious condition. When he was first diagnosed, he was was initially taken to New York-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville before being transferred to a hospital in Manhattan.
Authorities began an intense search on Tuesday to find anybody who the man and his family may have been in contact with as concerns grow for the doctors and nurses who treated him before he was identified with the illness.
His son, a student at Yeshiva University on 185th St, is also displaying symptoms of the virus and has been placed into isolation in the family’s Westchester home alongside the man’s wife and their other son. They are all being tested.
A second student at the university has placed themselves into self-isolation as a precaution because of their contact with the patient’s law firm, which is believed to be located near Grand Central.
The man is reportedly a regular worshiper at Young Israel synagogue in New Rochelle which has since been ordered to halt all services immediately by Westchester County Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler.
It is thought he attended services there on February 22 and a funeral and bat mitzvah the the temple on February 23.
The man’s travel does not include trips to China, and he has not visited any other areas with links to the outbreak, however he has recently traveled to Miami. There are two confirmed cases in the state of Florida, but none in Miami.
He is believed to work in Midtown Manhattan near Grand Central where a heavy police presence gathered on Tuesday afternoon. A crowd gathered outside One Grand Central Terminal at around 1.30pm with additional officers requested soon after for an unexplained reason.
SAR Academy and SAR High School, an orthodox Jewish High School in the Bronx area of Riverdale was closed as a precaution on Tuesday. One of the man’s sons attends the school but is no showing symptoms.
A second high school Westchester Day School in Westchester County is also closed.
Cuomo said this second confirmed case was no cause for alarm and that community spreading in New York City is inevitable.
‘The real issue is how many people will get seriously ill,’ Cuomo said. ‘How many people, God forbid, could lose their lives.’
The man was first admitted to Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville on Friday after falling ill. The doctors and nurses who may have treated him are being tracked down and placed into quarantine.
Speaking to the press on Tuesday afternoon, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that health officials are mapping out the close contact the patient and his two sons may have had with other people. The information is expected to be compiled by Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning and all those thought to be at risk will be informed.
‘City and State disease detectives are working closely to identify close contacts and the appropriate next steps,’ he said.
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