HNL Will Accept Flights From China, 1 in 7 US Airports That Will
Daniel K. Inouye Airport in Honolulu is one of seven airports that will accept incoming flights from China, according to a briefing from the newly created US Virus Task Force on Friday.
The decision to restrict flights to only seven hubs comes amid a declaration of a US public health emergency from the federal government in connection with the rapid spread of a coronavirus outbreak across the globe, the epicenter of which is located in the Hubei Province of central China.
A global health emergency was declared by the World Health Organization Thursday.
American citizens returning to the country from the Hubei Province will be subject to a quarantine of up to 14 days. Citizens returning from other parts of China will be subject to screenings and will also be required to self-quarantine for a 14-day period while they are monitored.
The US State Department has committed to aid citizens in their attempts to get home in the midst of travel restrictions and the cancellation of several flights in and out of China.
Foreign nationals who have recently visited China will not be permitted entry into the United States.
The precautions were announced Friday by a newly created US Virus Task Force convened by President Donald Trump. The actions will go into effect on Feb. 2, 2020.
Other locations that will accept flights from China are JFK International Airport in New York as well as airports in Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The task force offered a briefing Friday, in which it acknowledged that only one of the six confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US was detected as a result of an airport screening.
Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom have recently reported the first cases of the virus in those countries, as the death toll in Hubei Province has risen to 249 people. Nearly 10,000 cases have been reported in mainland China alone.
Despite the numbers, US health officials continue to stress that those in the US are well-insulated from infection.
“This is a serious health situation in China, but I want to emphasize the risk to the American public is low,” said Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Our goal is to do all we can to keep it that way.”
Officials stressed that the influenza virus and coronavirus present very similarly in the early stages of each illness and are advising against panic. If you have any symptoms of either virus, seek medical help immediately.