Swine Flu Outbreak: Plan for Caution and Delays at Ports-of-Entry

April 27, 2009
The outbreak of a potentially dangerous strain of influenza in Brazil, Canada, México, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere is causing many nations, including the USA, to implement public health precautions to limit further spread of the flu.  These precautions may cause delays at US ports-of-entry (POE).  The immigration attorneys at Fong & Chun have clients who travel frequently, and because of Southern California's proximity to México, and because the Los Angeles area is a major transportation hub, we are cautioning travellers to allot plenty of time to clear the immigration and customs hall at US airports.

Some places, like Hong Kong, have had experience with the prior outbreak of bird flu, so they are using more sophisticated measures to screen arriving passengers, including infrared scanners to identify persons with fever.  

Regarding US Public Health Service clearance, both airlines and US Customs & Border Protection will be on the lookout for individuals who are ill or who have fevers.  After you are admitted to the US, if you have recently visited one of the affected areas, and you find you have a fever or other flu-like symptoms, you should telephone your doctor.

If you have any questions about how this possible epidemic might affect your immigration case, or your ability to travel, please contact us.   --jcf