New Travel Restrictions in Place Amid Growing Coronavirus Concerns

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In Massachusetts and across the U.S., officials are stepping up their response to the coronavirus outbreak. 

The Department of Homeland Security is warning passengers traveling by plane that their flight may be rerouted if officials discover if a person onboard visited China in the past 14 days.

That guidance was included in a notice released by the department Sunday as new travel restrictions officially go into effect for flights commencing after 5 p.m. 

Any remaining flights from China with U.S. citizens will be routed through 11 airports with advanced screening capabilities.

At Logan Airport Sunday night, passengers arriving from Hong Kong said there was a lot of confusion before they boarded. 

“Things are changing pretty much every hour, every minute, so they’re always talking to each other, pretty much trying to figure out what’s going on because no one knows what’s going on,” said Roxanne Rehfeld, a resident of California. “This is not our final destination, we were supposed to be home two days ago.” 

They family said when they landed in Boston they weren’t screened.

“Before we got on the plane at Hong Kong we had to make sure you go through multiple layers where they ask you if you went to mainland China, they look at your passport,” said Jason Rehfeld. 

As of Sunday night, the number of U.S. coronavirus cases stood at 11, including a UMass Boston student living in Boston who is said to be doing well. 

China has also completed its first hospital to house those infected, as concern grows over the initial handling of the virus, now a global health emergency. 

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