President Donald Trump is considering a measure to block US citizens and legal permanent residents from returning home, if the authorities have reasons to believe that the person may be infected with the coronavirus.
Under a new draft regulation that has not been finalised yet, the government could be authorised to ban Americans returning from overseas, in individual, limited circumstances, if an official “reasonably believes that the individual either may have been exposed to or is infected with the communicable disease,” the New York Times first reported late on Monday.
The draft regulation that will be issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), does not mention the duration of the ban, but stresses that it will include safeguards “to ensure that no constitutional rights are infringed.”
“C.D.C. expects that any prohibition on the introduction of U.S. citizens or L.P.R.s from abroad would apply only in the rarest of circumstances,” the draft says, referring to legal permanent residents, “when required in the interest of public health, and be limited in duration,” reads a part of the draft seen by the NYT.
The measure seems to apply to all points of entry into the US across the country, citing the spread of COVID-19 in Mexico as evidence for the rule.
Earlier on Monday, Trump urged Americans to “stop politicising” the Coronavirus, and to unite in condemning how the virus reached the US.
“The virus came from China. It’s China’s fault,” Trump said during a White House press briefing on the pandemic.