Via The Wall Street Journal: South Africa Issues Travel Ban For Countries Gripped by Ebola Outbreak. Excerpt:
South Africa has banned travelers from the three Ebola-hit West African nations, a government spokesman said on Thursday, after other countries adopted similar measures to prevent the deadly virus from breaching their borders.
South Africa's travel ban for those coming in from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea will be in place for as long as necessary, said Jo Maila, a spokesman for the health ministry. South Africans returning from these countries would be allowed back home but would undergo extensive medical tests, Mr. Maila added.
Meanwhile, South Africa's health ministry said the country's citizens would be asked to postpone trips to those countries indefinitely and only allowed to travel if it is "absolutely essential." Mr. Maila said that South Africa travelers heading to the countries would be quizzed on the necessity of their travel at the airport by Home Affairs officials.
The move by South Africa follows a similar ban by Kenya last week. Zambia has also banned travelers from infected countries, while several African nations have restricted air travel to and from them. Johannesburg's O.R. Tambo airport and Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport are the continent's two major airport hubs.
The World Health Organization has urged airlines and countries to avoid isolating the three West African nations. The global health body has said Ebola isn't contagious until symptoms appear, and even then it requires bodily fluid to spread by contact. Contracting the disease during air travel is extremely unlikely, it says, and blanket bans and flight restrictions threaten fragile economies.
Mr. Maila, the health ministry spokesman, waved aside the WHO's advice against travel bans. "All other countries are doing this too," he said. Asked if South Africa's decision was a result of Kenya's earlier ban, Mr. Maila said the country had made its own call "based on its own assessment."