After 9/11 people and their belonging must be checked as many items are prohibited.

Now, after SARS-CoV-2019, should we start screening all passengers for known diseases to prevent outbreaks like this?

What's the political process for implementing mandatory screening of flight passengers for known infectious diseases?

  • 1
    @MikaelDúiBolinder - I have changed the question in an effort to make it more answerable. Without a country tag, it is clearly too broad. Also, these measures refer to travelling, not immigration. I have picked up US as a specific country, but feel free to target another country.
    – Alexei
    Mar 13 '20 at 11:43
  • I reopened the question.
    – Philipp
    Mar 13 '20 at 13:23
  • Going to be a lot of dependence on what "checked" means. Since COVID-19 has up to a 2 week incubation, and may be able to spread in that time, it might require screening some saliva. Giving a saliva sample is a much bigger deal than a thermal scanner looking for fever.
    – puppetsock
    Mar 13 '20 at 14:27
  • National legislative body proposes Mandatory Screening - Public and Legislators debate - business's complain/support - Legislators vote - policy is adopted or not. Specifics of steps vary with national body involved. Why should the process differ from the implementation of any other public policy?
    – Jontia
    Mar 13 '20 at 14:45

The Health and Human Services(HHS) Secretary can make that determination in conjunction with the CDC. From the CDC website

Under section 361 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S. Code § 264), the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to take measures to prevent the entry and spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the United States and between states.

The authority for carrying out these functions on a daily basis has been delegated to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Under 42 Code of Federal Regulations parts 70 and 71, CDC is authorized to detain, medically examine, and release persons arriving into the United States and traveling between states who are suspected of carrying these communicable diseases.

As part of its federal authority, CDC routinely monitors persons arriving at U.S. land border crossings and passengers and crew arriving at U.S. ports of entry for signs or symptoms of communicable diseases.

When alerted about an ill passenger or crew member by the pilot of a plane or captain of a ship, CDC may detain passengers and crew as necessary to investigate whether the cause of the illness on board is a communicable disease.

In other words, the CDC can already detain you if they think you have a communicable disease and are flying into the US.

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