Rules vary about travel to countries hit by Ebola

AP News
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Posted: Oct 17, 2014 4:32 PM
Rules vary about travel to countries hit by Ebola

Demands are rising in Washington for the U.S. to ban travelers from countries in West Africa, but the Obama administration is resisting and says the screening measures already in place for travelers are more effective.

There are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone to the U.S. Officials say that about 150 passengers a day arrive in the U.S. from those countries after making a connecting flight, usually in Europe. Most arrive at one of five airports, where screening for fever — a symptom of the disease — began this week.

Here's what different countries are doing about travel to and from the Ebola hot spots:

EUROPE:

United Kingdom: No formal ban. No direct flights from the three affected countries to London's Heathrow Airport since British Airways suspended service there in August due to the outbreak. There is passenger screening at Heathrow and soon at two other airports.

Germany: No ban and no plans for one. There is no formal monitoring or screening of arriving passengers. Like the U.S., Germany doesn't have any direct flights from those three African countries.

France: The government advises against non-essential travel to Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone. Air France suspended flights to Sierra Leone but has maintained once-a-day flights from Guinea, a former colony. Beginning Saturday, temperature checks for passengers arriving in Paris from the Guinean capital of Conakry.

Netherlands: The government advises against travel to the same three nations and urges Dutch citizens in those countries to leave. No direct flights. Currently no extra screening at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, although passengers on flights to and from Nigeria receive flyers with information about Ebola.

Ireland: No ban planned. No Ebola monitoring at airports. Ryanair flies to Morocco but not to any of the countries in the Ebola epidemic. The U.S. has customs stations at Dublin and Shannon airports for U.S.-bound travelers.

Czech Republic: Starting Tuesday, medical checks at Prague's Vaclav Havel Airport for passengers who visited Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone in the previous 42 days.

Albania: No ban.

Turkey: Passengers from Liberia and Nigeria are undergoing more intensive screening. Those with high fever or other symptoms are being quarantined. Six travelers suspected of having Ebola turned out to have malaria instead.

MIDDLE EAST:

Israel: No direct flights. The government plans to ask passengers on connecting flights from West Africa, mostly through France or Ethiopia, to declare if they have been to one of the Ebola countries recently and if they feel ill.

Egypt: Airport officials say there is no travel ban.

Saudi Arabia: People from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone could not get visas for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, a move that affected more than 7,000 travelers. Stopped issuing work visas to nationals of those countries.

United Arab Emirates: Dubai-based Emirates halted flights to Guinea in August. Dubai International Airport, a major hub for global air traffic, has no specific Ebola screening.

Qatar: Qatar Airways advises against non-essential travel to Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone and does not fly there.

LATIN AMERICA and CARIBBEAN:

Colombia: Bars entry by any travelers requiring visas who have been in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria or Senegal.

Haiti: The prime minister tweeted that the UN stopped sending peacekeepers from Africa to Haiti as a preventive measure.

Jamaica: Bans entry by anyone who has been in Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone within four weeks.

Guyana: Diplomatic missions have been told not to issue visas to people from the affected West African countries.

Trinidad and Tobago: Denies entry to residents of Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo. Others who have visited those countries within six weeks will be quarantined for 21 days.

Saint Lucia: Visitors from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone can't enter until the Ebola outbreak is under control. Travelers from Nigeria need to present a recent medical certificate declaring them free of the virus.

Antigua: No entry to anyone who has been in affected countries within the past 21 days and suspended granting of visas.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Bans nationals from Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Belize: Issued a ban Friday on visas to persons from West African countries.