Just as news was spreading about the new H1N1 Swine Flu and Americans were heading to Mexico for Spring Break, the U.S. Military effectively closed the border for it’s own personell. http://www.vaccines.mil/documents/1239USNORTHCOM_H1N1_MEXICO.pdf
1. (U) DUE TO THE ONGOING HEALTH THREAT IN MEXICO, THE UNITED STATES EMBASSY, MEXICO CITY BY ORDER OF THE CHARGE DE AFFAIRS HAS DIRECTED THAT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE ALL INBOUND TEMPORARY DUTY TRAVELS ARE SUSPENDED UNLESS IN DIRECT SUPPORT OF THE H1N1 FLU OUTBREAK CRISIS. 2. (U) IN SUPPORT OF AND COMPLEMENTARY TO U.S. EMBASSY MEXICO COUNTRY CLEARANCE ACTIONS, USNORTHCOM DIRECTS THAT OFFICIAL DOD TRAVEL TO MEXICO BE RESTRICTED TO ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY IN SUPPORT OF H1N1 FLU OUTBREAK CRISIS. SPECIFIC GUIDANCE PERTAINING TO USNORTHCOM THEATER CLEARANCE PROCEDURES IS CONTAINED… ‐119 (MEXICO THEATER ) Subject: HQ USNORTHCOM FORCE PROTECTION DIRECTIVE 09 CLEARANCE Originator: NORAD AND USNORTHCOM COMMAND CENTER(UC) DTG: 292248Z Apr 09
Distributed April 15, 2009 came another warning regarding military travel to Mexico. http://docs.google.com/gview?a=v&q=cache:j0b8TH6NQN0J:https://www.bliss.army.mil/bliss_home_files/documents/policy/TravelPolicyforMexico09-001.pdf+USNORTHCOM+travel+to+mexico&hl=en&gl=us&sig=AFQjCNGFi7jNwsE9-U7m-TlEAXzXF0cwdg All military travel along the Mexican State of Chihuahia and ALL Mexican cities along the U.S. -Mexico border are off limits…… Found in a Yahoo message group post of all places. July 26, 2005– “Since USNORTHCOM issued its travel advisory for Mexico our office has been overwhelmed with requests for information…. http://firstname.lastname@example.org/msg13317.html Read that date 2005! The warning flags were up for military personell and Department of Defense Officicials sealing off sections of our border with Mexico, while the average Joe the Plumber could hop across the border for a Corona with little government warning about H1N1 Risk or threat of serious crime.
As far back as 2006, preparations have been made for just such a Pandemic. http://www.olligmu.org/~docstore/800docs/0809-801OLLI%20Vaccines%20Srs%2030Sept08FIN.ppt#494,43,Headline Prepared by the Osher Lifelong Learning Center Sept. 30, 2008. The Report outlines Pandemic Preparedness from a 1996 pandemic.gov site to include: Vaccination Prioritization, Expand Internet Capacity for work at home, Tresury Dept- other countries produce currency, VA drive through medical exams and vaccinations, 12-18 month crisis, up to 1.9 Million deaths in U.S.,. It goes on to say: Use drugs from National Stockpile Cancel Large Gatherings Encourage School Closings, Dispatch National Guard if necessary, Introduce Travel Restrictions, Role of Containment and Quarantine… It appears the government has taken most of it’s own advice as has the Ukraine. This week it annouced border closures, restriction of movements and creation of “special regimes” to oversee adverse effects. https://ahrcanum.wordpress.com/2009/11/01/swine-flu-quarantine-in-ukraine-border-closed/
The Department of State has issued this Travel Alert to update security information (current as of 11/02/09) for U.S. citizens traveling to and living in Mexico. It supersedes the Travel Alert for Mexico dated February 20, 2009, and expires on February 20, 2010. http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_4491.html It makes no mention of the H1N1 pandemic but notes the vast increase in crime throughout the country.
Health information on Travel to Mexico from the CDC is more focused on Malaria and that more people are killed in car accidents. http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/mexico.aspx There also no mention of H1N1.
The CDC claims The United States is not screening travelers who arrive from other countries or depart for other countries.http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/content/news-announcements/delays-H1N1-screening.aspx But in April 2009- Richard Besser, acting director of the CDC, revealed that the U.S. authorities were starting to undertake “passive screening” at its borders. He restated the Obama administration’s call on Sunday for people to stay calm.” http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-04/28/content_11269405.htm
Dr Salim J. Habayeb, WHO Representative to India said, “Our official WHO position is not to recommend travel restrictions under existing circumstances for pandemic H1N1 2009. But many countries did institute cross-border measures based on past deliberations. Such travel measures may possibly be useful in the early stages, what we call the containment stage. But at the pandemic phase 6, such containment measures are of limited value since the infection is disseminated and spreading at the community level. http://htsummit.hindustantimes.com/summit-news/airport-screening-for-h1n1-of-limited-value-now-1.php
The Department of State has issued an alert for U.S. citizens to the quarantine measures imposed by the Government of China in response to the 2009-H1N1 pandemic that may affect travel to China. This Travel Alert updates the July 9, 2009, Travel Alert in order to advise U.S. citizens of the current quarantine situation. This Travel Alert expires on December 30, 2009. From May to August 2009, the Department of State received thousands of reports of quarantined U.S. citizens http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_4238.html We would expect one to be issued for the Ukraine soon.
In the interest of safety or tracking your whereabouts, Travel registration is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. Registration allows you to record information about your upcoming trip abroad that the Department of State can use to assist you in case of an emergency.https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/
You might be able to get out of the U.S., but getting in may not be as easy. Even in the U.S., airlines have the right to deny boarding to passengers for any number of reasons, including sobriety, hygiene and illness, according to Wayne Harvey, president of the Airport Facilities Council of the International Facilities Management Association. http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5gOJ-kQ4v4Duh-QZRjI28neFkXwmQ