MERS cases in the U.S. are now 18 — here’s what countries are doing about travel bans

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday reported laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in a person in Massachusetts, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. this year to 18. CDC Director Robert Redfield said the case “raises concern” about the virus’s ability to spread from person to person and that measures were being taken to contain the outbreak.

Here’s a look at the latest travel restrictions by country following the MERS outbreaks:

Here are the current list of travel restrictions in effect, as of Wednesday morning. If you’re in any of these countries, you can contact your travel agent or airline for additional information.


The Al Arabiya news agency reported on Tuesday that the Moroccan government imposed a temporary ban on non-essential travel by travel agents, tour operators and tour guides with the exception of medical personnel working on a government-approved basis. The ban extends to medical professionals trained in alternative medicine. No medical personnel in hospitals or treatment centers are subject to the ban.

Morocco MERS flights remain suspended

New Delhi and Mumbai air travel bans

India’s cabinet approved on Tuesday the reintroduction of a temporary air travel ban to and from India’s western states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, following a cluster of MERS cases in Mumbai. The ban is expected to be in place for six months. A similar ban on flights from the United Arab Emirates was lifted in early October.


The country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on Wednesday that certain flights to the island would remain suspended. Seaborne airlines said the ban was implemented as a precautionary measure, but plans are underway to restart services. Seaborne said it didn’t know the details of the travel ban but noted that it didn’t affect their flights.

Sri Lanka

Three MERS cases have been reported in the country, bringing the number of confirmed cases in 2018 to nine. Seven of those have been connected to two medical institutions, Sri Lanka’s government said in a statement on Thursday.

Flights to/from Sri Lanka MERS-free


A total of 10 confirmed cases have been reported in the country. All but one have been in the eastern city of Shanghai. Affected were three health care workers, two tourists and a traveler from Cameroon, WHO said.

Hong Kong

Two passengers on flight 8597 from Mumbai to Hong Kong last week arrived with symptoms of MERS-CoV; they were later discharged. One of the passengers was taken in for further questioning and isolation, and a fellow passenger was taken to a hospital for a MERS-CoV diagnosis. The World Health Organization reported no further cases of MERS in Hong Kong as of Monday.


Taiwan’s Taipei Environmental Protection Bureau reported that a patient who may have come into contact with the MERS-CoV infection through the transfer of their fluids into fecal matter from other sources had been transferred to a special medical facility. She had returned to the same Taipei hospital in August for medical attention, and was isolated as a result. The other three people in her line of travel from abroad are recovering.

American travelers are advised not to fly into or from any of the countries listed below, unless they have traveled to/from the affected countries and are visiting relatives and friends.

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