In light of the coronavirus outbreak centred in Wuhan, many countries have taken steps to either prevent entry or require a quarantine period for arrivals from the affected area.

Canada relies on arrivals declaring whether or not they have been to Wuhan in the past 14 days. Yes, some people will tell the truth. But some won't. With 2019 nCoV, someone who was in Wuhan the past two weeks can just lie.

Why don't G8 countries just assume most people will lie and prepare for worst?

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    Do you have an actual question, or are you just trying to make a rhetorical point? – lambshaanxy Jan 24 '20 at 7:14
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's mainly about politics. – TooTea Jan 24 '20 at 7:50
  • I've edited this to remove the unnecessary reddit link and long "joke" quote, to make it clearer what you actually appear to be asking. This way it looks much more like a question rather than you standing on a soapbox. I'm still not entirely sure that the question is on-topic here, but it's at least somewhere close. – Chris H Jan 24 '20 at 8:11
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    Why would the G8 be an appropriate forum for this? What do you have in mind to “prepare for the worst“ and what do you think could realistically be done? – Relaxed Jan 24 '20 at 8:19
  • Related (probably a duplicate, really): travel.stackexchange.com/questions/152711/… – jcaron Jan 24 '20 at 8:29

I have not heard about any country denying entry or quarantining all travellers from affected areas. Isolation (at home) is recommended for people who have been in the area and present relevant symptoms. Refusing entry wholesale would be a hugely disruptive and largely self-defeating measure: it encourages people to lie, could spread the disease further by making potentially contagious victims stay longer in a public place — the airport — and through another international flight, would make (crucial) collaboration with airlines or affected countries a lot more difficult.

Extending it to all travellers from China (since you don't want to rely on people self-reported itinerary) would be pure madness (and there are already cases reported in Japan and the US… so you might as well shut down international air travel entirely). It also raises the question of returning nationals or third-country citizens, who cannot easily be refused entry and put back on a plane to the affected area.

Consequently, the question is not designed to catch people who try to defeat screening but to inform people who might not otherwise understand they are at risk and make sure they realize this information is relevant. It's more efficient than asking every passenger verbally and helps officials respond appropriately in situations where oral communication might be more difficult. It's also potentially a database you can come back to for contact tracing.

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