Coronavirus outbreak: New travel restrictions in place at San Francisco International Airport

ByAnser Hassan KGO logo
Monday, February 3, 2020
New travel restrictions in place at SFO due to coronavirus outbreak
New travel restrictions took place at San Francisco International Airport on Feb. 2, 2020.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Weichong Lim arrived at San Francisco International Airport from Singapore on Sunday for a business trip.

He says it took him six hours to get through customs. He also says there was extra security and medical staff ready to treat passengers showing symptoms of the Coronavirus.

"There was a section where they were doing some tests for selected people," says Lim.

As of 2 p.m. on Sunday, new travel restriction are in place for passengers coming from China.

RELATED: Coronavirus: Centers for Disease Control confirms 2nd case of coronavirus in Santa Clara County

According to the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. citizens who travel to Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, are subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine. U.S. citizens who have been to other parts of China will undergo a health screening at the airport and could face up 14 days of self-quarantine.

Except for people with family in the U.S., and all other travelers from China will be denied entry into the U.S.

Kristen To, who lives in Sacramento, is taking a flight from SFO to Vietnam. She can't cancel her trip because of family obligations. She plans to wear her medical face mask on her flight all the way to Vietnam.

"I'm very worried," says To. "It's not a big issue (in Vietnam) yet, but still, it's spreading everywhere. And a lot of Chinese travel to Vietnam."

RELATED: 2 cases of coronavirus confirmed south of Gilroy in San Benito County, person-to-person transmission, health officials say

Sunday morning, the CDC confirmed a second case of the Coronavirus in the Bay Area. The patient is a woman, who arrived at SFO from China on January 23, to visit her family in the South Bay. She and her family have both been forced to stay home.

"She has been at her family's home since her arrival and has not left home, except to seek medical care. She has had a mild illness and sought out patient treatment two times since becoming ill," says Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody. "Her family is also isolated at home, which means they are not leaving home, not even to buy groceries or other supplies."

County health officials say this woman is not related to the man identified on Friday as the first person in the Bay area to become infected.

Public health officials want to emphasize that neither patient was sick enough to require them to be hospitalized.

Doctor Cody says the emergence of a second case is not a surprise, considering the huge number of travelers between the Bay Area and China. She expects more case in the coming weeks, but insists that risk to the general public remains low.

The DHS says SFO is one of 11 U.s. airports where all flights from China are being diverted. TSA has set up enhanced screening procedures at those airports and has the capacity to quarantine passengers if needed.

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