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US bans entry to foreign nationals who traveled to China

The US said Friday it was declaring a public health emergency and temporarily banning the entry of foreign nationals who had traveled to China over the past two weeks to contain the spread of a deadly new virus.

"Foreign nationals, other than immediate family of US citizens and permanent residents who have traveled in China within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the United States for this time," said Alex Azar, secretary of the Health and Human Services department. The order takes effect on February 2 from 5:00 pm eastern time (2200 GMT).

In addition, any US citizen returning from Hubei, the province at the center of the outbreak, will be subject to a 14-day mandatory quarantine in a facility. "Any US citizen returning to the United States who has been in the rest of mainland China within the previous 14 days will undergo proactive entry health screening at a select number of ports of entry and up to 14 days of monitored self quarantine," at home, added Azar.

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