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U.S. Designates Five Airports for Flights Flying from Ebola-Stricken Nations

Update Date: Oct 22, 2014 11:16 AM EDT

After three cases of Ebola have been confirmed in the United States, federal agencies have tightened up regulations regarding the virus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for example, has revised guidelines for health care workers. Now, the Department of Homeland Security has announced that all airline passengers on flights that originated out of the Ebola-stricken West African nations can only land in one of the five designated airports within the U.S.

Under the new restrictions, people who are travelling from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea must alter their plans so that they land in the cities of New York, Newark, Washington, Atlanta or Chicago. Each airport has been equipped with screening protocols that will examine the passengers for signs of an infection before allowing them to continue on with their journey.

"We are working closely with the airlines to implement these restrictions with minimal travel disruption. If not already handled by the airlines, the few impacted travelers should contact the airlines for rebooking, as needed," Secretary Jeh Johnson wrote in the statement. "We currently have in place measures to identify and screen anyone at all land, sea and air ports of entry into the United States who we have reason to believe has been present in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea in the preceding 21 days."

The department's flying restrictions will not affect too many passengers since roughly 94 percent of the people flying out of these nations will end up in one of these five airports. Johnson added that more measures would be taken if needed.

"We are continually evaluating whether additional restrictions or added screening and precautionary measures are necessary to protect the American people and will act accordingly," he said.

The new flying restrictions will go into effect on Wednesday.

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