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Airport Health & Wellness

The 13 U.S. Airports Screening Passengers for COVID-19

World responses to pandemics—like the U.S.’s to the COVID-19 outbreak—are always a moving target. When it comes to contagious diseases, there are going to be new developments occurring every day. Of late, the 30-day Europe travel ban means that all U.S. citizens returning home from many countries in Europe (plus China and Iran) will be sent to one of 13 U.S. airports designated for screenings and then directed to self quarantine for 14 days.

Here are the airports that were doing so as of March 16:

The 13 U.S. Airports Screening Passengers for the Coronavirus

  • Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
  • Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)

According to the Department of Homeland Security:

  • American citizens, legal permanent residents, and their immediate families who are arriving from impacted areas must travel through one of 13 airports where DHS has established enhanced entry screening capabilities.
  • All American citizens, legal permanent residents, and their immediate families who are returning from the impacted area must self-quarantine for 14 days after their arrival.

Existing flight reservations: If you have arranged a ticketed trip abroad, most airlines are allowing you the option to reschedule or get a refund; hotel chains are typically doing the same (you can see which major players are doing so here). But check to be sure; if you arranged something through a travel agency, contact that agency, which might have policies that differ from those of the airline or hotel.

Travel insurance: If you purchased travel insurance before the outbreak or have some through your credit card, it may or may not cover trip cancellation or interruption. Oddly, many trip-cancellation travel insurance policies do not include “outbreak of a virus at destination” as a covered reason. Cancel-for-any-reason insurance is your best bet.

Future bookings: You’re probably better off postponing travel until the virus is fully contained. But if you must go, experts recommend frequent hand washing and avoiding densely populated areas. Selecting a window seat on your flight makes you more isolated from germs than other seats, studies suggest.

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More from SmarterTravel:

Consumer advocate Ed Perkins has been writing about travel for more than three decades. The founding editor of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, he continues to inform travelers and fight consumer abuse every day at SmarterTravel.

By Ed Perkins

A nationally recognized reporter, writer, and consumer advocate, Ed Perkins focuses on how travelers can find the best deals and avoid scams.

He is the author of "Online Travel" (2000) and "Business Travel: When It's Your Money" (2004), the first step-by-step guide specifically written for small business and self-employed professional travelers. He was also the co-author of the annual "Best Travel Deals" series from Consumers Union.

Perkins' advice for business travelers is featured on MyBusinessTravel.com, a website devoted to helping small business and self-employed professional travelers find the best value for their travel dollars.

Perkins was founding editor of Consumer Reports Travel Letter, one of the country's most influential travel publications, from which he retired in 1998. He has also written for Business Traveller magazine (London).

Perkins' travel expertise has led to frequent television appearances, including ABC's "Good Morning America" and "This Week with David Brinkley," "The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather," CNN, and numerous local TV and radio stations.

Before editing Consumer Reports Travel Letter, Perkins spent 25 years in travel research and consulting with assignments ranging from national tourism development strategies to the design of computer-based tourism models.

Born in Evanston, Illinois, Perkins lives in Ashland, Oregon with his wife.

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