Tag: Restrictions

U.S. Imposes Severe Travel Restrictions On Chinese Communist Party Members : NPR

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, also general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, leads the fifth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the CCP, in Beijing in October. The U.S. State Dept. Thursday tightened travel restrictions on members of the CCP and their families.

Liu Bin/AP


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Liu Bin/AP

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, also general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, leads the fifth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the CCP, in Beijing in October. The U.S. State Dept. Thursday tightened travel restrictions on members of the CCP and their families.

Liu Bin/AP

The Trump administration is imposing sharply tighter restrictions on travel to the United States by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members and their families, a move Beijing describes as part of a “deep-rooted Cold War mentality.”

The restrictions target holders of business (B-1) and tourist (B-2) visas, reducing the travel documents’ maximum validity to one month, down from the current maximum of 10 years.

“This is in keeping with our ongoing policy, regulatory, and law-enforcement action across the U.S. Government to protect our nation from the CCP’s malign influence,” an unnamed State Dept. official wrote in a statement emailed to NPR.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has spent much of the year bolstering his tough-on-China approach. He’s blasted China for human rights abuses against its Uighur and other Muslim minorities, its crackdown on Hong Kong’s autonomy and its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The unsigned statement accuses the CCP and its members of trying to “influence Americans through propaganda, economic coercion, and other nefarious activities” and says the State Dept. has the authority to “limit visa validity of groups of individuals hostile to U.S. values.”

China’s foreign ministry spokesperson calls the new restrictions “an escalation of political suppression by some extreme anti-China forces in the U.S.”

The CCP has roughly 90 million members, effectively making the State Dept. visa action the Trump administration’s most sweeping and direct attack on the Party’s legitimacy. The administration has previously imposed sanctions on Chinese businesses and individuals, and has appealed to the people of China to reject the Party.

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US imposes restrictions on travel visas for Chinese Communist Party members

The State Department is imposing new restrictions on travel visas to the United States for members of the Chinese Communist Party, a State Department spokesperson confirmed Thursday.



a close up of a screen: International flights arrivals are listed on a screen at Los Angeles International Airport on March 12, 2020 one day before a US flight travel ban hits 26 European countries amid ongoing precautions over the Coronavirus.


© Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images
International flights arrivals are listed on a screen at Los Angeles International Airport on March 12, 2020 one day before a US flight travel ban hits 26 European countries amid ongoing precautions over the Coronavirus.

Under the new rules, the travel visas of CCP members and their immediate family members will change from 10 years to one month and will be single entry.

The move, taken less than two months before the Trump administration leaves power, is the latest in a series of actions that have ratcheted up tension between Washington and Beijing.

“This is in keeping with our ongoing policy, regulatory, and law-enforcement action across the U.S. Government to protect our nation from the CCP’s malign influence,” the spokesperson said in a statement to CNN. “Under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, the Department of State has the authority to limit visa validity of groups of individuals hostile to U.S. values.”

The spokesperson claimed that the Chinese Communist Party “sends agents to the United States to unabashedly monitor, threaten, and report on Chinese nationals and Chinese-American groups engaging in legal, honest, and open activities that are protected under freedom of speech and freedom of assembly clauses.”

“For decades we allowed the CCP free and unfettered access to U.S. institutions and businesses while these same privileges were never extended freely to U.S. citizens in China. Interaction with free societies, economies, and access to Western technologies certainly helped China develop, while the CCP only doubled down on Marxist-Leninism and hostility to the free world,” the spokesperson said.

The State Department under Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has pursued a series of aggressive actions against the Chinese government as tensions between the US and China continue to rise.

It has designated more than a dozen Chinese media companies operating in the US as foreign missions. China has expelled journalists from a number of US media outlets. The Trump administration has also imposed restrictions on Chinese diplomats in the US, and in July ordered Beijing to shutter its consulate in Houston.

The activities of consulate officials in Houston “are a microcosm, we believe, of a broader network of individuals in more than 25 cities that network is supported through the consulates here,” a US Justice Department official told reporters at the time.

In response, the Chinese government ordered the closure of the US consulate in Chengdu.

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Ohio, Kentucky restrictions after visits to these states

Ohio has been added to its own travel advisory list due to a high positivity rate. 

People entering Ohio or Kentucky after travel to states reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher for COVID-19 are advised to self-quarantine for 14 days. On Wednesday, Ohio was added to its own list.

According to Ohio officials, the positivity rate is an indicator of how much COVID-19 there is in a community, and the Ohio Department of Health is recommending against travel to those states with high positivity.

“This is the first week since April where Ohio’s positivity for COVID-19 has increased above 15%. The state has seen record levels of cases, deaths, and hospitalizations in the past week, and all Ohioans can help to limit the spread and impact of this virus,” Ohio officials said in a travel advisory update. “This includes recommendations to stay at home except for necessary trips for supplies, consistent mask-wearing when around others, and frequent hand washing. Together we can help stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Ohio is on the list for both the Buckeye State and for Kentucky. Both states draw from the same Johns Hopkins University dashboard so their lists often match up. 

The self-quarantine should be heeded by residents of both states and out-of-state travelers. It is intended as guidance and is not a mandate, officials said. 

The following states have a rolling seven-day average above 15%, according to Johns Hopkins University as of 7 a.m. Thursday: 

  1. Idaho: 49.00%
  2. Iowa: 43.42%
  3. South Dakota: 41.07%
  4. Oregon: 40.90%
  5. Kansas: 39.87%
  6. Alabama: 32.74%
  7. Pennsylvania: 28.95%
  8. Arizona: 22.95%
  9. Mississippi: 21.93%
  10. Utah: 19.60%
  11. Missouri: 18.69%
  12. Oklahoma: 16.86%
  13. Nevada: 16.58%
  14. Ohio: 15.37%

Ohio officials said Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming have all experienced reporting irregularities this past week.

“Given recent trends, Oregon and Wyoming is likely to have a positivity of over 15%, while Washington and Oklahoma appear to be approaching that threshold,” officials said. 

Dr. Steven Stack, Kentucky’s Public Health Commissioner, also stressed that it was recommendation and not a mandate when the advisory was announced in July.

“Avoid going to these areas, if you are able,” Stack said. “If plans can’t be changed, self-quarantine after getting back to Kentucky.”

The travel advisories in Ohio and Kentucky currently apply to most of the same states. Kentucky numbers are updated daily. Ohio’s advisory is updated once a week on Wednesdays, using data from that Tuesday. 

More: Ohio and Kentucky have new coronavirus restrictions; here are the differences

What to do during self-quarantine, according to health officials

  • Remain at home and avoid all in-person activities. This includes work, grocery stores and pharmacies, public events, and public places.
  • Do not have visitors in your home.
  • If you live in a home with other people who did not travel with you, stay in a separate room. If this is not possible, wear a face mask when you are in the same room and stay at least six feet away from others.
  • Do not leave home except to seek medical care. If you
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Coronavirus Travel Restrictions Updates For December

Can you believe that 2020 is almost over? If you’re planning an end-of-year trip for the holidays, there are some travel restrictions to know about. Much of the world is inaccessible for leisure travel, but it’s still possible to leave home and sightsee. Only essential travel reasons may be exempt from various travel restrictions.

New York

New York has some of the strictest travel restrictions in the contiguous U.S. 48 states. Most travelers, including New York residents out-of-state for at least 24 hours, will need to quarantine for 14 days or take two qualifying diagnostic tests.

Specifically, “travelers entering New York State from a noncontiguous state, U.S. territory or CDC level 2 or level 3 country,” will need to provide proof of a valid negative diagnostic test upon arrival to the Empire State. This test must be taken within three days before arriving in New York.

The traveler must then quarantine for the first three days and take a second test on the fourth day. The follow-up test must have a negative result to waive the rest of the 14-day quarantine.

If you don’t have a qualifying negative test result before arriving in New York, you will need to quarantine for the full 14 days.

Travelers and residents from bordering states like New Jersey and Connecticut can be exempt from these quarantine and testing rules. However, travelers that only leave New York for less than 24 hours will need to complete the traveler health form and take a diagnostic test four days after returning.

New Jersey

New Jersey strongly encourages a 14-day self-quarantine for those entering from any state or territory outside the immediate region. While a self-quarantine is optional, compliance is expected.

You do not have to quarantine if you arrive from New York, Connecticut, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Connecticut

Most travelers and returning residents will need to self-quarantine when entering Connecticut. Travelers will need to complete a traveler health form or face a potential $500 fine.

You will need to self-quarantine when you arrive from a state under these conditions:

  • Arrive from a state other than New York, New Jersey or Rhode Island
  • Positive case rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents
  • Higher than a 10% positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average
  • A country with a CDC Level 3 travel health notice

The list of impacted states updates on Tuesdays. As of December 1, 2020, Hawaii is the only noncontiguous state or territory that waives the self-quarantine.

It’s possible to waive the quarantine with qualifying negative diagnostic tests. The first test can be taken up to 72 hours before arriving in Connecticut or after arriving. The negative test results will need to be

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Covid-19 U.S. travel restrictions state by state

By Megan Marples and Forrest Brown, CNN

Editor’s note: This story was current at the time of last publication on November 30 and will be updated periodically. However, you should still check with the official state websites before you commit to travel plans.

 With cases of Covid-19 reaching new heights in the United States, some states are having to adapt rapidly with their rules and regulations, especially in recent weeks.

If you wish to travel to another state, it is important to be updated on the latest statewide regulations. While some US states have no restrictions on travel, all their sites have important Covid-19 safety information, including possible face mask mandates in public settings. States without travel restrictions might still have mask mandates.

This list is alphabetical and includes links where you should get more information and updates before you head out:

Alabama

As of November 30, there were no statewide travel restrictions in Alabama. However, visitors should be aware of the state’s mask mandate effective through December 11. You can check here for updates.

Alaska

Alaska’s latest travel protocols have been in effect since August 11. Visitors from other states must do one of the following:

— Submit a travel declaration and self-isolation plan online and arrive with proof of a negative Covid-19 test.
— Follow a plan that your employer filed with the state if you come for work.
— Buy a $250 Covid-19 test when you arrive and self-quarantine at your own expense until you get the results.

Alaska residents also have protocols they must follow for travel. According to the CDC, “people in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.” Leaving your home state to enter a state with a mandatory quarantine means you need one place to stay and to stay put. Check here for Alaska details and updates.

Arizona

As of November 30, there were no statewide travel restrictions in Arizona. Check here for updates.

Arkansas

As of November 30, there were no statewide travel restrictions in Arkansas. Check here for updates.

California

As of November 30, people coming to California are being asked to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival and avoid nonessential travel, which includes tourism. Check here for Covid-19 updates and possible local restrictions.

Colorado

As of November 30, there were no statewide travel restrictions in Colorado though nonessential travel is not recommended. Check here for updates.

Connecticut

Any traveler coming from a state that has a positive case rate of 10 out of 100,000 people or a 10% or higher test positivity rate must self-quarantine for 14 days. The traveler must have spent more than 24 hours in said state for the rule to apply. Everyone also needs to complete a travel health form.

Visitors can opt out of the 14-day quarantine in limited cases if they can provide proof that they have had a negative Covid-19 test in the past 72 hours. There were 46

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Travel recommendations, restrictions likely to extend through Christmas: Fauci

“We don’t want to frighten people, but that’s just the reality,” Fauci said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he can’t see how the current restrictions and recommendations around Thanksgiving would be relaxed by Christmas.

“When you have the kind of inflection that we have, it doesn’t all of a sudden turn around like that,” Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week.

“So clearly in the next few weeks, we’re gonna have the same sort of thing. And perhaps even two or three weeks down the line, Martha, we may see a surge upon a surge,” he told “This Week” co-anchor Martha Raddatz.

“We don’t want to frighten people, but that’s just the reality” Fauci added. “We said that these things would happen, as we got into the cold weather and as we began traveling, and they’ve happened. It’s going to happen again. So I cannot see all of a sudden, a relaxation of the kinds of recommendations or restrictions because we’re getting into colder weather, and in, in an even larger holiday season as people travel to come back and forth for Christmas.”

He also urged Americans to be “really careful” as they return from their Thanksgiving holiday travel.

“You’ve really got to understand the importance of trying to prevent further spread and further surge, that may be when you go back where you came from,” Fauci said.

The U.S. surpassed 13 million COVID-19 cases on Friday, an increase of more than a million cases in six days, according to data from John Hopkins University. More than 265,000 people have died.

Experts have warned against reading too much into numbers from this week, as states have paused updates due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Despite Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warnings and increasing case counts, millions traveled for Thanksgiving. The Transportation Security Administration screened more than 8 million people between Nov. 20 and Saturday.

This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

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New Restrictions On Sports, Travel Amid Surge In Covid Cases And Hospitalizations

A record number of COVID cases and hospitalizations across Santa Clara County prompted health officials to sound the alarm on Saturday and announce new restrictions on sports, businesses and travelers.

The restrictions in Santa Clara County include a ban on contact sports like the San Francisco 49ers football team, quarantines for travelers outside the region, and reduced capacity inside businesses and facilities open to the public.

The new measures are in addition to the county’s purple tier designation and will be effective Monday through at least Dec. 21.

“We have come to a place where our cases and our hospitalizations are so high that we must do something to settle things down,” said Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody at a Saturday press conference.

Cody and other officials urged residents to stay home whenever possible, wear masks and observe social distancing.


On Saturday, the county saw 760 new cases — shattering the previous record by 215, Cody said. There were also a record 239 COVID patients at hospitals, 71 of them in intensive care units.

Health officials expect virus-spreading Thanksgiving gatherings and flu season to add more patients and overwhelm hospitals by mid-December.

“This pandemic is like a high-speed train and our projections tell us we are on target to derail by the third week of December if we don’t apply brakes right now with all our collective might,” Cody said.

The county has seen 32,985 cases since the pandemic began, the highest in the greater Bay Area, and 476 deaths.

The county’s new restrictions limit capacity to 10 percent at businesses and facilities that are open to the public, except grocery stores and pharmacies, which are allowed 25 percent capacity, said County Counsel James Williams.

In addition, all facilities must establish a system to keep track of the number of people inside, such as posting an employee at the entrance.

First Amendment-protected gatherings, such as religious services or protests, are allowed outdoors with a maximum attendance of 100 people, Williams said.

Professional, collegiate and youth sports like football that involve physical contact or close proximity to persons outside one’s household, including all contact sports, are temporarily banned. People can continue to engage in outdoor athletics and recreation where social distancing can be maintained at all times.

Cardrooms are temporarily closed, and hotels and lodging facilities are only allowed to be open for essential travel and to use for isolation or quarantine.

Leisure and non-essential travel are strongly discouraged, and a new directive requires people to quarantine for 14 days upon return to the county from travel of more than 150 miles away. Healthcare workers traveling into the county to provide care or patients traveling into the county to obtain treatment will be exempted.

The new Santa Clara County restrictions are effective at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

Copyright © 2020 by Bay City News, Inc. Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

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Bay Area tightens COVID-19 restrictions; Santa Clara County orders travel quarantine

As the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly worsens across California, San Francisco and San Mateo counties on Saturday were moved into the state’s most restrictive tier, which forces the closure of indoor gyms and movie theaters.

At the same time, Santa Clara County issued its own tightened COVID-19 rules that in some ways are stricter than the ones issued by Los Angeles County on Friday. Under Santa Clara County‘s directive, people must quarantine for 14 days upon return from travel of more than 150 miles, hotels will be open for only essential travel or isolation and quarantine, and nonessential retail establishments will be limited to 10% of capacity indoors, down from the current cap of 25%.

The backward steps come as hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have tripled in the last month, coming perilously close to exceeding their summer peak.

According to data released Saturday by the state Department of Public Health, on Friday there were 6,972 people infected with the coronavirus in hospitals statewide. On Oct. 25, that number was 2,254. The all-time high for hospitalizations is 7,170, set July 22.

In all, more than 1.18 million people have been infected with the coronavirus and more than 19,000 have died in California.

San Francisco had been able to avoid the state’s most restrictive “purple” tier, but the rate of new coronavirus cases in the Bay Area has continued to explode up in recent days. In just the last six weeks, weekly coronavirus cases have quadrupled, from about 200 a week in mid-October to about 900 a week now,

A Times analysis published Friday found that most California counties are now suffering their worst daily new coronavirus case rates of the pandemic, surpassing even the summer surge that forced officials to roll back the state’s first reopening.

The state Department of Public Health announced Saturday that six counties had fallen into the most restrictive tier of the state’s reopening framework: San Francisco, San Mateo, Plumas, Lake, Modoc and Calaveras counties. Three counties fell into the red tier: Mariposa, Inyo and Alpine.

The changes mean that 51 of California’s 58 counties are now in the purple tier, accounting for 99% of the state’s population, or 38.8 million people out of California’s 39.1 million residents. Purple tier counties are required to shut indoor operations of restaurants, gyms and houses of worship.

Counties in the purple tier are subject to the state’s limited overnight stay-at-home order, which prohibits all gatherings between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. and all nonessential activities outside the home during those hours, with exceptions such as to get groceries, take walks with members of your household, pick up takeout food and work in essential industries such as meal preparation.

The only counties not in the purple tier are Marin, Amador, Plumas, Inyo, Mariposa, Mono and Alpine, which are in the red, or second-most restrictive tier, and Sierra, which is the orange tier, the third-most restrictive tier.

San Francisco had already ordered the shutdown of indoor restaurant dining rooms starting Nov. 14. Beginning

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Massachusetts imposes new travel restrictions on Vermont

Vermont is no longer considered a lower-risk state for contacting COVID-19, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Effective Saturday morning, individuals traveling to or returning from Vermont must now fill out a travel form and quarantine upon arrival in Massachusetts, unless they are able to produce a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before arriving in the state.

The news comes as Vermont’s daily coronavirus cases averaged 18 cases per 100,000 residents with a positive test rate of 24 percent, according to the COVID-19 tracking website. Metrics must stay below 10 cases per 100,000 residents with a positive test rate below 5 percent, both measure on a 7-day rolling average, in order to be considered low risk. New Hampshire and Vermont were removed from the low-risk list last week. Hawaii is the only remaining US state to be considered low-risk.

Hawaii is the only state considered low risk.
Hawaii is the only state considered low risk.Mass.gov

Exemptions to the state’s travel order include commuters who cross state lines for work, those arriving for medical treatment, military personnel, and those who are traveling for work or essential services. The state also exempts certain short, same-day trips across the border and back that are designated as “critical life activities.” Those activities can include grocery shopping, visits to pharmacies, dentist and doctors’ appointments, and required appearances at official proceedings.

Failure to comply with the travel order could result in a $500 per day fine.

Prior to this month, Vermont held the coronavirus at bay, even as infections spread at breakneck pace beyond the state’s borders. On Nov. 13, Governor Phil Scott announced new COVID-19 restrictions that are believed to be among the toughest in the nation. Restrictions include a ban on households visiting each other, both inside and outside, in public and in private, hospitals barring visitors with only a few exceptions, and strict quarantine rules. Visitors to Vermont must quarantine for 14-days, regardless of where they are arriving from. Vermont’s health department even strongly advises against non-essential travel within the state.

Positive COVID-19 cases surpassed 13 million across the US on Friday, after a Thanksgiving upended by the pandemic and amid a Black Friday hampered by virus fears and capacity limits on stores.


Brittany Bowker can be reached at [email protected] Follower her on Twitter @brittbowker.

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U.S. Covid-19 Rates Overtake The EU, Highlighting A Difference In Travel Restrictions

Covid-19 statistics on both sides of the Atlantic are severe. But new figures show that the case rates of Covid-19 infections across many states are surging past most European countries.

It’s important because of Thanksgiving–as people move around this holiday weekend, so too will the virus, so rates are expected to rise–and it’s also indicative of the travel restrictions currently in place on both sides of the ocean.

The stats show the U.S. with higher rates than the EU

As Axios reported, not so long ago, U.S. health officials were looking at Europe and imagining how the country would cope if the same thing happened and a second wave surged–and now the U.S. has a higher per capita caseload than the EU has ever had during the second wave of the pandemic.

The World Health Organization announced that in Europe, one person is dying every 17 seconds from Covid-19; in the U.S. on Thanksgiving weekend, the country is bracing itself for one of the worst weeks since the pandemic began. More than 1.2 million cases have been identified in the past week and the country is on track to meet the 13 million mark for identified cases, with a seven-day average of daily deaths at 1,600.

On Saturday, the EU country with the highest case load was Luxembourg at just above 80 cases per 100,000 people. In the U.S., 15 states had a higher caseload–with North Dakota the highest, at just above 160 cases per 100,000 people. Wyoming, South Dakota, Wyoming and Minnesota had case loads ranging from 140 to 120 cases per 100,000 people.

Across the country, the U.S. had 52.4 cases per 100,000 people and the EU stood at 37.6 per 100,000 people (the EU peak was on Nov 8 at 46.7 cases per 100,000).

The EU has more severe travel restrictions in place

The EU brought in many nationwide, government-controlled curfews and lockdowns. Masks have been mandatory for the past few months in most countries, both in enclosed spaces and now on the streets.

For the most part, travel is currently banned into the EU from most countries (there are some exceptions). Travel between EU states isn’t advised, except where extremely necessary for work or school purposes (although many countries plan to allow internal travel throughout Christmas week).

In the U.S. it’s been a mixed bag. With no national mandate, the U.S. has a Covid-19 strategy with travel restrictions that are different from state to state. Some of the worst hit states, such as Iowa, are only now issuing mask mandates and the vast majority of states have no travel restrictions in place at all.

President-elect Joe Biden asked people to forego travel, as did the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) but according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), more than 2 million people

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