New screenings will take place at five U.S. airports, six in Canada, two in London and Eurostar entry points to the U.K. in response to the Ebola virus disease.
The screening will include taking a passengers’ temperature and requiring them to complete a questionnaire. This screening is expected to include a very small number of travelers; U.S. officials estimate it will affect roughly 150 passengers per day across the five airports.
These enhanced screenings will be held at alternate checkpoint locations within each airport, so there is no noticeable impact or security delays expected for individual travelers who have not been to the West African nations dealing with the heaviest outbreak of the virus.
In the U.S., additional screenings will take place at JFK and Newark Liberty, Chicago O’Hare, Washington Dulles and Atlanta. Screenings will also take place at London Heathrow and Gatwick, as well as at St. Pancras train station and the Ashford, Ebbsfleet, and Stratford (London) stations for arrivals on Eurostar. Canada has announced screenings at Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax, Ottawa and Calgary.
The five U.S. airports serve roughly 94 percent of the destinations of people traveling to the U.S. from the most heavily stricken countries in West Africa: Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. However, other points of entry, by land and sea, are already being monitored for any travelers showing symptoms of infection.
Travelers coming into Canada who are either ill or acknowledge they have been in contact with someone already sick, will be referred to a quarantine officer who will take their temperature and complete a health assessment.
According to Dr. Marty Cetron, director of the CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, “Air travelers must keep in mind that Ebola is not transmitted through the air. There needs to be direct contact with body fluids or blood.”
At this time, the risk of contracting Ebola through the course of normal business travel outside of West Africa is very low. This is not an airborne virus, so infection rates among non-West African countries is very low. However, CWT travelers are encouraged to:
Several governmental agencies have posted information on their websites for your reference as well: