Countries Begin Issuing Travel Bans over Ebola Scare

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CORONAVIRUS IMPACT

The World Health Organization, as well as other health experts, says travel or trade ban to any of the Ebola-affected countries in the current outbreak would be a mistake. However, many governments have already issued travel bans over Ebola worldwide scare and more restrictions are expected to be implemented.

The 2014 West African Ebola epidemic, which was called “the worst Ebola outbreak on record”, is spreading mostly across Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. The number of the infected people is reaching 10,000, while the death toll is around 5,000, or even more, according to some experts. There were cases in Senegal and Nigeria, too, but both countries were recently declared clear of Ebola – on October 18, the WHO said there are no Ebola patients in Senegal, while on October 20, Nigeria was also cleared. Spain, the U.S. and recently Mali, have also reported several infections.

Although most epidemiologists and health experts agree that a general travel and trade ban would be a mistake right now, some countries decided to introduce restrictions for travelers from the affected countries.

Aug. 9, Zambia – The country banned all travelers from Ebola-affected countries.

Aug. 16, Kenya – Kenya also imposed a travel ban on people coming from these countries.

Aug. 21, South Africa – The country said it restricts entry for non-citizens traveling from the three countries.

Aug. 22, Gabon – Restricting issuance of entry visas to travelers from Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria on case-by-case basis.

Aug. 22, Rwanda – Bans travelers who have visited Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone in prior 22 days.

Senegal, Aug. 22 – Bans flights to and from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. It also shut its southern land border with Guinea.
Ivory Coast, Aug 23 – Closed land borders with Guinea and Liberia. Borders reopened in early October.

Aug. 26, Seychelles – Bans travelers who have visited Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo “for any length of time.” Also bans Seychelles nationals from traveling to Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria or Democratic Republic of Congo, unless permitted by Public Health Commissioner.

Sept. 9, Guyana – Stops issuing visas to citizens of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Ban not announced until Oct. 16.

Oct. 3, Haiti – Bans volunteers from departing for African countries hit by the Ebola virus; issued after United Nations said it was recruiting volunteers to respond to the Ebola outbreak. It also bans entry to travelers who have been in Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone over the previous 28 days. Those who have visited the four countries more than 28 days before seeking to enter Haiti must present a government-certified health certificate and the results of a blood test for Ebola upon arrival.

Oct. 8, Mauritius – Bans travelers who have visited Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, Senegal and Democratic Republic of Congo in the previous two months. Bans on Senegal and Nigeria lifted Oct. 10 and 17, respectively, provided no new cases of Ebola.

Oct. 14, Colombia – Denies entry to travelers who have visited Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria in past four weeks.
Oct. 15, St Kitts and Nevis – Bans visitors from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Travelers who have visited the three countries in the previous 21 days will also be banned.

Oct. 16, Jamaica – Bans foreigners arriving from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone and bans foreigners who have visited any of the four countries within four weeks prior to arrival in Jamaica. Jamaicans who have visited those countries will be quarantined for 28 days.

Oct. 17, Antigua and Barbuda – Bans nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and bans entry to anyone who has been in those countries in the past 21 days.

Oct. 18, Belize – Stops issuing visas to nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria. Sierra Leone nationals, who do not need visa to enter Belize, are also banned. Anyone who visits one of these four countries in past 30 days will also be denied entry.

Oct. 21, Dominican Republic – Bans entry to foreigners who have visited countries where the World Health Organization has declared an Ebola alert in the last 30 days.

Oct. 21, Suriname – Bans non-Surinamers who have visited Sierra Leone, Guinea or Liberia in the previous 21 days.

Oct 22, St. Lucia – Nationals from Sierra Leone and Guinea banned from entering.

Oct. 23, North Korea – Bans entry to foreigners on tourist trips due to worries over the spread of Ebola.

Cape Verde – Bans travels by non-resident foreigners who have been in Sierra Leone, Guinea or Liberia in the past 30 days.

Equatorial Guinea – Denies entry to travelers whose trips originated in countries affected by Ebola.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines – Ban visitors from Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone

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