New travel restrictions go into effect at 7 US airports, including LAX, amid coronavirus concerns

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KABC) -- As Chinese and world leaders continue efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus, new travel restrictions went into effect Sunday at seven U.S. airports, including Los Angeles International Airport.

The Department of Homeland Security is requiring that all U.S citizens returning home from China, or Americans who have been in China within the last two weeks, must land at one of the designated airports. Flights with at least one person who meets the criteria will be automatically diverted.

At LAX, stringent new health screenings will be conducted on those travelers. Returning U.S. citizens who have recently traveled to Wuhan, China - the epicenter of the virus outbreak - will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine order.

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Additionally, most non-U.S. citizens who have recently traveled to China will be denied entry into the country, with the exception of immediate family members of U.S. citizens, permanent residents and flight crews.

U.S. government officials say the restrictions are to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus, which has resulted in over 300 deaths in China, and many passengers say they appreciate the precautions.

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"I'm sure the right people know how to handle the situation. I do think it's being contained in the right way so hopefully everything gets sorted out right," said passenger Sophia Ehimiagha.

It's unclear how long the new restrictions will remain in effect, but they come as three new cases of novel coronavirus were confirmed in California, bringing the total of U.S. cases to 11.

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