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Jamaica bans travelers from West African nations over Ebola crisis

Health workers on Friday suit up in protective clothing in Monrovia, Liberia, before taking people suspected of having Ebola to a reopened Ebola holding center.
(John Moore / Getty Images)

Jamaica has issued a travel ban against travelers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone because of the Ebola crisis, a government news service announced Thursday. It joins the island of St. Lucia, Guyana and Haiti in barring people from the three West African countries from entering the Caribbean nations.

Jamaica has been tweeting details about its policy, which includes denying entry to residents of the affected nations and anyone who has traveled there in the last 28 days. Additionally, Jamaican citizens and residents returning from the West African countries will be quarantined.

“The #travelban is a temporary measure necessary for the protection of human and animal health from #Ebola #EbolaResponse,” says a tweet from the Jamaica Information Service.

St. Lucia earlier said it would deny entry to visitors from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. It also said visitors from Nigeria, which has taken strong steps to contain the Ebola outbreak, are required to obtain a visa and present a medical document indicating they are clear of the disease before they will be allowed on the island.

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President Obama on Friday named Ron Klain, a former chief for staff for Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, as his administration’s Ebola “czar,” but Obama has been reluctant to impose restrictions on travelers from the three West African nations where more than 4,500 people are assumed to have died from the disease. Two nurses in Texas contracted Ebola after treating Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola victim in the U.S., who had traveled here from Liberia and later died.

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) is among lawmakers urging the president to impose a temporary ban on visitors from countries afflicted with the virus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued its highest warning to Americans to avoid nonessential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll this week revealed that 67% of Americans favor restricting entry to the U.S. by people who have been traveling in the affected countries.


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