Trump looks to temporarily bar US citizens returning from abroad if they're suspected of having COVID-19

salarshani@businessinsider.com (Sarah Al-Arshani)
·2 mins read
President Donald Trump. <p class="copyright">JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images</p>
President Donald Trump.
  • President Donald Trump wants to temporarily bar US citizens and permanent residents from entering the country if they are suspected of having the coronavirus, The New York Times reported on Monday.

  • A draft proposal said that if a border official "reasonably believes that the individual either may have been exposed to or is infected with the communicable disease," the person could be barred from entering, The Times reported.

  • The proposal did not specify how long the restriction would last, the newspaper said.

  • The Times added that it's still not clear whether a measure like this would be constitutional.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump is looking to temporarily bar US citizens and permanent residents from entering the country if they are suspected of having the coronavirus, The New York Times reported on Monday.

A draft proposal said that if a border official "reasonably believes that the individual either may have been exposed to or is infected with the communicable disease," that person would be denied entry to the US.

The proposal was sent to federal agencies, which have until Tuesday to provide feedback, The Times reported.

The president had previously cited coronavirus concerns in barring nonresidents from several countries, including many European nations, from entering the US.

The Times reported that the draft proposal said that any order that would block a legal resident or citizen from coming into the country had to "include appropriate protections to ensure that no Constitutional rights are infringed." But the newspaper added that experts had questioned whether such a measure would indeed be constitutional.

The proposal did not specify how long someone would be barred from entering the US, The Times said.

An official familiar with the discussions told Insider that the proposal was part of the Trump administration's overall approach to mitigating the spread of the virus and could change before it is finalized.

Some countries, including South Korea, have imposed mandatory quarantines for people coming into the country to help limit the spread of the virus.

According to The Times, the document addressed the border with Mexico, a region that Trump has long focused on as part of a broader agenda to limit immigration. The proposal said the coronavirus outbreak had strained Mexico's healthcare system and was forcing Mexicans to seek care in the US, the newspaper reported.

Mexico has so far recorded more than 480,000 coronavirus cases and over 52,000 deaths. In the US, more than 5 million cases have been recorded, and over 163,000 people have died, according to data from John Hopkins.

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