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U.S. Will Not Impose Ebola Travel Restrictions; Some Countries Ban Certain Travelers Despite Experts’ Warnings Against Restrictions

News outlets report on actions by some nations to institute travel restrictions in an attempt to keep Ebola from spreading. The U.S. says it will not enact restrictions, despite having diagnosed the first Ebola case in the U.S. on Tuesday in a man who traveled from Liberia to Texas.

The Hill: White House: No Ebola travel restrictions
“The White House said Wednesday it will not impose travel restrictions or introduce new airport screenings to prevent additional cases of Ebola from entering the United States. Spokesman Josh Earnest said that current anti-Ebola measures, which include screenings in West African airports and observation of passengers in the United States, will be sufficient to prevent the ‘wide spread’ of the virus…” (Viebeck, 10/1).

NPR: Africa’s ‘Switzerland’ Bans Ebola — But At What Cost?
“Most African nations have responded to their Ebola-affected neighbors by canceling flights and closing borders. The logic driving this isolationism has little to do with advice from the World Health Organization. … The tiny island nation of Mauritius is the latest to join the NIMBY chorus; its Prime Minister has ordered that all foreign nationals be refused entry if they have stepped foot in an Ebola-affected country any time in the past two months. The maximum known incubation period for the virus is just three weeks…” (Warner, 10/1).

Washington Post: These countries are tightening their borders over Ebola fears — against expert advice
“…Travel restrictions are seen as ineffective at controlling outbreaks like this, and they are likely to cause serious problems with the treatment and containment of Ebola. In fact, health experts are often damning about the use of travel restrictions in these situations…” (Taylor, 10/2).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.