The U.S. for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have announced new modifications, starting tomorrow, for the enhanced Ebola port-of-entry screening for travelers from Sierra Leone.
This action follows the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration on Nov. 7, 2015 that Sierra Leone is free of Ebola virus transmission. The country has exceeded 42 days, the length of two 21-day incubation cycles, since the release of the last patient with Ebola from a Sierra Leone Ebola treatment unit.
Travelers from Sierra Leone entering the United States will continue to be funneled through one of five U.S. airports conducting enhanced entry screening:
- Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson
- Chicago O’Hare
- Newark International
- New York JFK
Travelers from Sierra Leone will continue to have their temperatures taken and answer questions about travel history and possible exposures to Ebola. Travelers will also provide their contact information so that the health department at their destination can connect with them, if needed.
Under the modified entry screening, travelers from Sierra Leone with no enhanced risk factors will receive a version of the CARE kit that includes information about Ebola, a thermometer, and contact information for state and local health departments.
Travelers will be encouraged to watch their health for 21 days after leaving Sierra Leone and to contact their local health departments if they develop symptoms consistent with Ebola. Travelers from Sierra Leone will no longer need to be actively monitored by or be in daily contact with their health departments.
Full screening and monitoring measures remain in place for travelers entering the United States from Guinea. This includes travelers from Sierra Leone who have also traveled to Guinea within the previous 21 days.
- Sierra Leone’s tourist industry recovering from Ebola (BBC)
- Sierra Leone Foreign Travel Advice (Gov.UK)
- Sierra Leone May Be Ebola-Free But The Virus Still Casts A Shadow (NPR)
- Sierra Leone’s Long Road to Becoming Ebola-Free (The Atlantic)