The Department of Homeland Security refused entry into the US to 241 people within the past month because of the coronavirus, according to data provided by the department.
DHS denied entry to 14 people at airports and 227 at land ports.
The figures provided by DHS were recorded from February 2 to March 3. The department did not provide a country breakdown for those who were refused entry at the airports.
An additional 106 foreign nationals were denied entry before arriving in the US at preclearance airports, where US Customs officials conduct screening overseas.
The department is tasked with screening passengers that are subject to President Donald Trump’s travel restrictions from China and Iran. At the beginning of February, the United States began implementing stringent travel restrictions in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak. Most foreign nationals who visited China in the 14 days prior to their arrival to the United States are denied entry. That was expanded to include Iran last week.
Customs and Border Protection officers, who conduct initial screenings for inbound passengers, are being told to review the travel advisories, such as those for Italy and South Korea. If individuals from those countries are exhibiting symptoms, they are referred for additional health screening, according to a CBP official. However, those travelers are not necessarily denied entry, since they are not subject to the ban.
The official said officers are briefed at the start of their shifts on the latest information.
“We have information that resides in our internal databases and websites, as well, so (officers) have access to the latest information,” the official said.